The Legacy Series

The Legacy Series of the Second World War

This original documentary film series – created by Canadian film students and the Canada Aviation and Space Museum – showcases powerful, personal accounts of the Second World War through the lens of aviation.

Through six episodes, The Legacy Series shares the captivating stories of Canadian veterans — airmen and women who served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Air Force, Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, and the Polish Air Force — as well as former European civilians. The Legacy Series bridges the generational divide between veterans and youth, bringing the stories of our country’s history to life for today’s students.

Teachers: Watch the Legacy Series with your class and then download your free, curriculum-based educational activity plans today!

Lesson Plans

The accompanying educational activity plans help students from grades 10 to 12 (ON) / secondary cycle 2 (QC) delve deeper into The Legacy Series, in order to understand the impact of the Second World War on society – both then and now. Download your free educational activity plans today and share these stories of sacrifice and courage with your students.

(Erratum: Please note that Mr. Marceli Ostrowski appearing in Episode One and Six, was a Pilot Officer of Wellington Bomber, not the Navigator.)

In this short introduction, Canadian Air Force cadet Andy encounters the ghost of Second World War RCAF Captain Johnny C. After determining that the captain is indeed a ghost, Andy realizes that the captain must have some great stories to tell.

00:08

you

00:09

[Music]

00:52

hey there you have a good flight there

00:56

captain who's asking

00:58

I'm just messing with you steam late for

01:01

the you know the ceremony and I saw you

01:03

in the cockpit

01:04

although wait a minute you're part of it

01:06

right I mean you must be loving the

01:09

costume costume you a cadet oh did the

01:14

uniform give it away I heard there was

01:16

some cadet leagues started back home and

01:19

fill the cockpits over here you and

01:20

shave there bub I'll have you know I've

01:23

already soloed oh I'm in the presence of

01:26

a captain of the clouds

01:28

we'll have to warn the crowds now won't

01:29

we what what do you know about flight

01:35

the surviving 59 sorties deep in the

01:38

heart of Germany without getting your

01:40

tail shot off count for anything you

01:42

really bring it don't you

01:43

that's the doctor kind of thing eh

01:45

anyway I got to get a selfie of you mean

01:47

link house what selfie picture no one

01:52

squeeze in here bud don't be shy closer

01:55

closer

01:57

damn this camera we received life

01:59

[Music]

02:07

that's that's really weird I I'm sorry

02:11

what year is it what you tell me you

02:14

don't know what year this no sure I do

02:16

I was just wondering what year do you

02:19

think it is that's all forty-four

02:22

it's 1944 really I bet you've got some

02:28

stories to tell huh

02:30

no idea the things I've seen get it I'd

02:35

like to

02:45

you listen to that kid that's the cat's

02:49

meow

02:49

beautiful what's your name to that Andy

02:53

I'm Johnny

02:54

captain Johnny see you ain't heard

02:57

nothing

02:58

[Music]

03:08

what you remember is the things where

03:14

you you know you're gonna die but you

03:17

don't you're so sure you're gonna die

03:24

but then you don't do it it won't and I

03:29

had two occurrences like that

English (auto-generated)

In Episode 1, RCAF and Polish Air Force veterans describe what it was like to go to war. From breaking the news of their enlistment to parents, to flying solo for the first time, their firsthand accounts are shared with self-deprecating humour, bringing history to life in an engaging and often moving way. Topics include the Polish Air Force, the key role played by the British Commonwealth Air Training Program, choosing between a fighter or a bomber, and how it felt to make the cut as a pilot.

The interviews are interspersed with archival photographs and film footage. Scenes between Cadet Andy and Captain Johnny C provide context and additional information on what it was like to go to war.

00:12

well I'm going overseas he says oh

00:15

really

00:15

so then I told him and he says well

00:18

don't tell your mum till you go because

00:21

she said she'll have a fit

00:23

so never told mum until I was going so

00:27

she was crying told me I shouldn't have

00:31

joined this I should have gone back to

00:33

the states because the states wasn't in

00:35

the war yet

00:38

[Music]

01:08

on September 1st 1939 Germany invaded

01:13

Poland marking the beginning of the

01:15

Second World War the deadliest conflict

01:18

in human history the war directly

01:21

affected hundreds of millions of people

01:23

from more than 30 countries close to 1.1

01:26

million Canadians fought in the Second

01:28

World War with 250,000 men and women

01:32

serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force

01:34

[Music]

01:52

well the Air Force had a reputation of

01:55

being a bunch of snobs and that's the

02:01

Army's version I was sitting next to an

02:05

older man probably around 30 and he said

02:10

me son

02:11

why are you here I said well I'm going

02:14

to join up he said did you get called up

02:17

I said no he says well you shouldn't be

02:20

joining the army says join the airforce

02:23

he said they treat you better here for

02:26

so I went to the Air Force recruiting

02:30

office and joined up and had no problem

02:34

before the war started I was playing a

02:39

game of grass hockey on our open air ice

02:42

rink and in the summertime and three

02:45

hurricanes flew right down low cross

02:48

costed the field where we were so close

02:52

we could see the pilots faces and I said

02:55

that's what I want to do when I was

02:59

knee-high to a grasshopper my father

03:03

took me up for a ride in an airplane I

03:06

sat in his lap and that way I was I was

03:10

hooked from that moment started making

03:14

like most kids in my age at that time

03:17

model airplanes always as if they were

03:22

real then when the war came along like

03:25

most boys my age I was so keen I joined

03:32

up when I was 17 I had to get permission

03:36

from my father and mother I had just

03:39

finished grade 10 in junior high school

03:43

and I joined up by the way the radar

03:46

came along and it's interested me and

03:48

that's that's what got me to join the

03:51

Air Force instead of the army I was

03:54

learning photography and I thought well

03:57

in the Air Force you know like I found

04:00

out there was a photographic branch

04:01

there didn't know what they did other

04:03

than full

04:04

I said that sorry want to go so I wanted

04:06

to go to Ottawa to take a course in 1940

04:10

I was 20 years old so I knew I was going

04:12

to have to go in something and the Air

04:14

Force was the thing to go in because

04:15

that was the preferred syllabus as far

04:18

as young people are concerned it was

04:20

very glamorous to fly I've got uncles

04:23

and aunts or in the First World War and

04:26

there's pictures that are mud the

04:29

trenches and dirty old bud I don't want

04:32

that then there was this oh we got the

04:35

Navy I'll uh send it down but no thang I

04:42

don't want to into that I know up and

04:44

down so that left the Air Force that's

04:48

why I joined the Air Force yep

04:53

I remember training one of these babies

04:55

back home I was going to be a fighter

04:58

pilot I wasn't in the cards why did you

05:02

pick the air force Johnny well I guess

05:04

you could say it picked me how so well

05:07

you see my father joined the Royal Naval

05:09

Air Service and the Great War the First

05:12

World War

05:13

so it's in your blood you could say that

05:16

but it's much more than that

05:17

back when my father flew his Bristol f2b

05:20

fighter in 1917 airplanes had only been

05:23

around for 14 years just think of that

05:26

Andy from the first flight of the Wright

05:29

brothers in 1903 two aerial dogfights

05:32

over the Western Front by early 1916 my

05:37

father his fellow pilots set the stage

05:39

for the role of the aircraft in the

05:41

Great War and I wanted to play a part in

05:43

ours alright but what if you couldn't

05:46

cut it with the Air Force and they sent

05:48

you off to the Navy or the army well I

05:51

guess I'd be fighting on land or on sea

05:54

personal choice doesn't figure in when

05:57

it comes to war you go where you're told

05:59

you follow orders

06:01

do your best sounds like a real lack of

06:05

options there many times that's war

06:07

boiled down to Andy lack of option

06:10

[Music]

06:26

saying what happened during the war in

06:28

Poland the terrific distraction and the

06:32

cruelty on the part of Germans who

06:37

attacked us I decided to switch over the

06:40

branch and they decided to join if

06:43

flying personnel the government was

06:46

asking for help because they needed help

06:49

badly so as my father was all better

06:53

better so I I felt like it was my duty

06:56

the volunteer sorry I did volunteer and

07:00

she went over to to Berlin

07:07

I'll add me a pole or a check as part of

07:09

my crew any day no questions asked why

07:12

what's so special about them are you

07:14

kidding

07:15

Polish pilots are some of the best

07:17

trained men like us connects to sailed

07:20

over the Atlantic to fight in this war

07:22

they've been fighting it to kick out the

07:24

Nazis from their homeland you could say

07:26

they have a way bigger stakin at the nut

07:28

but where you putting your life on the

07:31

line just like them yeah a little bit

07:34

different don't you think if some

07:37

palooka walked into your home and said

07:41

it's his home now and if you don't like

07:43

it you'll kill you and your family what

07:47

would you do if that happened

07:49

[Music]

08:02

you

08:07

the Commonwealth people they came to

08:11

Canada to learn how to be pilots or

08:14

whatever in order to help fight the war

08:18

I think there was over 200 stations

08:22

across Canada

08:24

there could be gunnery schools they

08:27

could be flying schools for pilots air

08:32

Gunners navigators whatever wireless

08:37

operators and a lot of the schools also

08:41

taught the women's division and the

08:45

ground crews Canada was picked for the

08:50

plan against other commonwealth of

08:53

places because if it's large area if we

08:58

were far enough away from the war and a

09:02

good atmosphere for training purposes

09:09

what's with the yellow why do the

09:12

trainers over here look like flying

09:14

mustard containers

09:16

simple so that the pilot trainees don't

09:20

hit one another so that they can easily

09:23

be found if a recruit has to do a forced

09:25

landing or even crash and with all those

09:29

yellow trainers filling the skies above

09:31

Canada US President Franklin D Roosevelt

09:34

calls us the aerodrome of democracy the

09:39

BC ATP or the plan is the single largest

09:42

aviation training program in the history

09:45

of war with close to 130,000 recruits in

09:49

Canadian schools and airfields across

09:51

the country we're doing our part and

09:54

then some but why did basic camp isn't

09:59

it a bit of a stretch from here to

10:01

Europe that's exactly why we're top dog

10:04

because of our good weather a wide open

10:07

spaces and flag of any real threat from

10:09

the Luftwaffe or the Japanese fighters

10:11

still what is this this plan bringing

10:15

the war a little too close to home you

10:18

know what they say in for a penny in for

10:21

a pound what the heck does that mean it

10:24

means you can't just stand on the

10:25

sidelines Andy sometimes you got to go

10:28

all-in and run with the ball

10:32

[Music]

10:38

[Applause]

10:41

[Music]

10:47

they asked me if I wanted to go and

10:50

fighter command our bomber command and

10:53

he said oh but of course you know

10:56

fighter command there's six months

10:58

waiting for six months at twenty years

11:01

old you know what at least six months so

11:04

I took bomber command well he says right

11:07

now we're looking for bomber partners I

11:09

said no I want to be a fighter pilot he

11:12

says well why I said if I make a stupid

11:16

mistake in the air I want to be the only

11:19

one go down no not with a Plane full of

11:22

crew no regrets about not being a

11:27

fighter pilot like buzz brewing and

11:31

screwball flying pretty high as Canada's

11:34

top base right now with 31 victories nah

11:38

you can have the glory

11:40

and you can sell the war bonds back home

11:42

I'll take my leg any day of the week but

11:46

what if you were the one that made a

11:49

mistake up there and because of it some

11:51

of your crew members were killed I mean

11:52

how would you get over the guilt of that

11:54

there were me beat me up

11:57

mistakes happen all the time in war and

11:59

II being afraid of making one is the

12:02

biggest mistake of all

12:21

when I got in that airplane the first

12:24

time I've pictured myself getting in my

12:28

model airplanes you know that was the

12:31

feeling of having at last I'm getting

12:34

into an airplane you know the first

12:37

aircraft it was a sleep finch which was

12:39

a trainer biplane looked like a first

12:43

world war fighter aircraft it was a

12:46

great aircraft to training it was

12:49

selling we had Tiger Moths and did

12:51

lovely terawatts tiger moth through is

12:54

an aeroplane that somehow and just

12:57

grabbed your heart she could fight boys

13:00

he could hurt you

13:01

she's kidding here as your leather

13:06

do you remember your first flight Johnny

13:10

like your first kiss Andi you never

13:12

forget it

13:13

my father taught me how to fly when I

13:17

was 16 years old and his old rickety de

13:20

havilland moth he bought it for a song

13:22

at an air show imagine that when he

13:27

hopped out of that plane and he told me

13:29

to take it up on my own I felt like like

13:36

it was free free as a bird just like the

13:40

thing were 16 yeah I started late but I

13:44

caught a point

13:45

[Music]

14:03

they agreed to take me in the air and

14:04

see if I wanted to be I like these fires

14:08

you see and floating around in the air

14:10

and shooting at each other and every

14:13

other that thought that was just fine

14:14

everybody wanted to be a pilot and do

14:17

this of course everybody couldn't be a

14:19

pilot all during your training you're

14:22

subject to being washed out if you know

14:26

you were you were always on observation

14:30

as your ability if at any time they

14:33

figured you're not quite with it to be a

14:37

pilot you know then you would be called

14:40

into the seal and he would say I'm sorry

14:43

but you are not progressing the way we

14:46

hoped you would be to become a fighter

14:48

pilot and therefore I have to turn you

14:52

back into the Air Force to become some

14:55

kind of a tradesman or something

14:57

I started out as a to be a pilot but I

15:01

was washed out on my Flying Tiger Moths

15:03

in the guise of wash me out he said

15:06

Jimmy says no Electric bomb buddy says

15:08

you might be better doing another part

15:11

of the aircrew so I became a navigator I

15:14

did my navigation course it took six

15:16

months and I graduated out a part of 43

15:20

when I went to the recruiting devil and

15:24

said I wanted to be a pilot they gave me

15:27

a medical and the doctor said I'm sorry

15:30

to tell your son you cannot be a pilot

15:34

at all because your eyes don't converse

15:37

and that is what allows you to have

15:41

depth perception which you can't land an

15:44

airplane without so when I was on guard

15:47

duty I was standing from hours with a

15:50

rifle that a bayonet on it I practice

15:53

bringing to spare that up to my eyes and

15:56

at the ground school they did had

15:59

another examination when the doctor

16:03

checked my eyes started to write

16:06

something down hey there's something

16:08

wrong here these numbers aren't anything

16:10

like the first time you were checked I I

16:13

was all ready for that I said oh it must

16:15

be a typographical

16:16

err how could someone get washed out

16:22

crashing is always a good way physical

16:25

reasons like bad eyesight and hearing a

16:29

bad attitude they get rid of the bad

16:31

eggs pretty quick yeah flying license

16:34

when you passed a flying license I'll

16:37

give you some paper that's a real

16:40

knee-slapper

16:42

no cadet you get your wings and getting

16:47

your wings is one of the proudest days

16:48

in any pilots life in the military

16:53

[Music]

17:09

they have bales of hay in the field like

17:14

a convoy or whatever and you had like

17:17

machine guns in your wings and you went

17:21

flew down and straight them you know as

17:25

though you were in battle and you're

17:27

strafing German convoys or whatever

17:29

ships whatever I was so heat up about

17:33

this single-engine airplane the mildest

17:38

master was the name of the aircraft it

17:41

was a two-seater something like the

17:45

Harvard which has a front seat in the

17:48

backseat the thing about the backseat

17:51

was that the instructor in order that he

17:54

could see to land the aircraft had the

17:57

canopy which would raise up like a

18:00

windscreen and he could raise a seat up

18:03

and he could fly away like uh it was

18:06

great fun to go a little too fast and

18:08

slam male instructor on his hand with

18:11

this thing but I got 17 hours on a

18:14

single-engine aircraft and and it Howard

18:18

it was it was spiritual I went up with

18:23

another fella on a tail chasing exercise

18:26

where he flies and I does everything he

18:31

can do to shake me off his tail and then

18:34

we switch well he didn't shake me off

18:38

but when we switch I did one manoeuvre

18:41

and lost him and when I pulled out of my

18:47

dive looked around I didn't know where I

18:51

was they I hadn't brought a map with me

18:55

I had had flown in close formation with

18:58

this fella out to where we were

19:00

exercising and I hadn't watched where we

19:02

were going the visibility was so bad

19:06

that when you look down all you could

19:07

see was a little circle of the ground I

19:10

thought I was southwest of Ottawa trying

19:13

for the Northeast and I ended up

19:15

somewhere in Quebec

19:17

then I flew down and read a name off a

19:21

railroad station that was in French I

19:23

knew where it was

19:25

I turned south then I saw these long

19:29

narrow farmers going back from the river

19:32

and I remembered from my history book

19:34

the scenery farm division in in Quebec I

19:40

said I knew where I was then but hey

19:44

buddy I was just about out of gas and

19:47

ice and I was just going to pick one of

19:50

these fields who look too quick quite

19:52

nice and she looked like a parallel

19:54

runways when I saw a little airplane the

19:57

fleet cinch I didn't know what it was

19:59

then but it was receiving and I followed

20:01

it home to its airfield which was at

20:04

Capital a Madeleine by Three Rivers I've

20:09

had maybe ten hours of flying and then

20:15

I'm in the hybrid oh it's a bit dicey

20:17

you know like the first time you get

20:20

that into how the hard drive a car

20:22

you're bit scared about how to drive a

20:25

car same thing was at Harvard I had a

20:28

lot of fun when I got to learn how she's

20:30

doing loops and rolls the best one of

20:33

all when I got up with my friend in the

20:37

clouds and was they'd follow the leader

20:39

and up the clouds around the holes over

20:44

[Music]

20:48

when you graduated that was the biggest

20:52

thing in your life up to that time API

20:56

defender who when I pitched my core I'm

20:58

you know my father who just returned

21:00

from England and the captain in the army

21:02

was there to pin my wings on my tunic it

21:06

was a little too enthusiastic I really

21:08

stuck the pin right through my tunic and

21:10

Safie in the chat and imagery

21:12

I didn't buzz of course but it was

21:15

painful he shed his demise you know when

21:20

I think of it it was a very special day

21:23

in 1942 Remembrance Day

21:26

and that's when I got my ways

21:28

[Music]

21:37

[Music]

21:47

Winston Churchill said that the first

21:51

Commonwealth air training plan was one

21:54

of the greatest contributions of Canada

21:58

for the war World War two those that

22:02

didn't get overseas got really no

22:05

recognition unless I wear my wings on my

22:11

uniform my Air Force Association uniform

22:14

you didn't know whether I was working in

22:18

an officer what you had no idea what I

22:21

did to contribute to the war effort

22:24

Canada should present the training

22:28

training officers with some kind of

22:32

recognition for their effort in the war

22:35

Canada was called the war in Canada our

22:41

dead receive no special accommodations

22:45

you were just shipped home to wherever

22:49

you came from I remember one time about

22:53

25 years after the war a Harvard

22:56

aircraft was discovered with the

22:59

skeleton still in it that they had never

23:02

found when it crashed no recognition at

23:06

all for those of us that served

23:15

[Music]

23:27

the Queen Elizabeth was taken over as a

23:29

troopship at that time it was the

23:31

biggest ship afloat and we were six days

23:36

on the boat in Halifax and was troop

23:38

ships coming in all the time from

23:41

different parts of Canada until we

23:43

filled up we're just ready to sail when

23:47

to Liberty ships were came in and they

23:50

were full of Yankee troops and they

23:52

they'd sprang leaks out in the Atlantic

23:55

so they brought him in the Halifax and

23:58

they and there was six thousand of them

24:00

and they put him on our boat we were

24:02

already foam so there was nowhere to

24:05

sleep he slept on the deck and even in

24:10

there that toilet she had to step over

24:12

these guys when he went in there because

24:14

they were sleeping there anymore you

24:16

could get you could sleep on the floor

24:17

January on the in 1942 of the North

24:23

Atlantic and the food was so terrible

24:25

with potatoes they took out of the bag

24:29

of potatoes dirt whole world and that's

24:32

how you got them and I went to the tuck

24:36

shop on a bought cookies and lived on

24:38

that for the trip repair since you're a

24:43

bomber pilot why didn't you just fly

24:45

your leg over to Europe that's not

24:49

that's not quite how it works you see

24:52

most common aircraft built in North

24:54

America take a series of air routes over

24:57

the Atlantic Ocean to get to Britain

25:00

once the planes are here pilots take

25:03

them to different airfields some of the

25:06

pilots are even dates dames women Andy

25:11

jeez

25:12

we call them the other girls because we

25:14

tell them add a girl you deliver the

25:17

plane in one piece you just love that

25:20

the gals they fly all types of aircraft

25:23

then I wouldn't get behind the controls

25:25

of surprised

25:27

nope should I be women are fighting in

25:31

Wars now women shouldn't be fighting in

25:33

a man's war

25:35

[Music]

25:48

and

25:49

[Music]

25:53

when you first get overseas you go down

25:56

to Bournemouth and that's a great place

25:59

for a young guy dance home and hugs Oh

26:05

comes forward good and the beer was

26:09

cheap I understand Churchill ordered

26:12

these the breweries that have lots of

26:15

beer

26:15

to keep up the morale of the people and

26:18

the pubs used to go in there and if they

26:20

had everybody would sing sing saying

26:23

everything he didn't drink that much to

26:26

excess he never got drunk breathing like

26:29

that you couldn't buy food like you can

26:32

now in the pubs but it was very very

26:34

little food fish and chips was about the

26:38

only thing I can think of that you could

26:39

buy and it was always done and wrapped

26:42

up in paper and it smelt real good and

26:45

tasted real good I was billeted in a

26:49

private home mrs. Simpson look after me

26:52

she was a lovely lady and every night

26:58

when I came crawling home she would have

27:02

a glass of milk and a Scottish scone or

27:05

something there for my bedside when we

27:10

were going overseas they'd always the

27:13

old timers advised us to take over

27:17

things that they think the girls would

27:20

want her people would want over there

27:22

so I knew sugar was it a problem so I

27:27

took a big 10-pound bag of sugar and and

27:33

also silk stockings and the idea was

27:36

given one at a time just one other thing

27:39

and look

27:44

missus if some is so nice that I I get

27:48

really sugar and the fog

27:53

you

28:09

[Music]

In Episode 2, RCAF veterans describe the personal experience of flying fighter missions during the Second World War. From providing aerial cover to taking part in hair-raising dogfights, their firsthand accounts are shared with self-deprecating humour, bringing history to life in an engaging and often moving way. Topics include the learning curve, tank busting, the perils of friendly fire, and the stress that made some young flyers go off the rails.

The interviews are interspersed with archival photographs and film footage. Scenes between Cadet Andy and Captain Johnny C provide context and additional information on what it was like to go to war.

00:11
what you remember is the phase where you
00:19
know you're going to die but you don't
00:24
you're so sure you're going to die but
00:27
then you don't do it it won't and I had
00:33
two occurrences like that
00:37
[Music]
00:53
you
00:54
[Music]
01:07
in the very early stages the Second
01:10
World War
01:11
Canadian pilots and crew members flew
01:13
with the British Royal Air Force but as
01:17
the war continued and thousands of
01:19
Canadian pilots and crew members were
01:21
being trained back home all Canadian
01:23
squadrons were created
01:25
[Music]
01:35
[Music]
01:42
when the epic heard a group of us part
01:46
of the squadron we were the top cover
01:49
and because I was really my first real
01:54
operation I stuck to the tail of it my
01:59
leader and I didn't didn't see very much
02:03
really as this the tail of the era and
02:06
we were top cover words it really wasn't
02:08
much actions but down below you can see
02:12
the smoke and the activity and it was
02:15
real health but that was my first
02:20
introduction to operations then Spitfire
02:28
still an amazing look in aircraft
02:32
don't let her good looks fool you she's
02:35
fat and deadly assassin Germans it saw
02:39
enough of them during the Battle of
02:40
Britain aren't they just throwing
02:42
untested pilots into that battle the
02:45
Brits were so numbered sometimes but for
02:48
the most part procedures still have to
02:50
be followed fighter pilots always have
02:54
to watch and learn before they can get
02:57
the feet wet must have been hard for
03:00
those rookie fighter pilots to just hang
03:02
back and watch what's the bitching to
03:05
get into the fighting it did get into it
03:07
maybe like a lamb to slaughter takes
03:11
time to become a fighter pilot things
03:13
are coming at you at breakneck speed you
03:16
have to learn to make decisions before
03:18
you can even think about them you have
03:21
to know how to avoid flaming out before
03:24
you can notch up your own victories now
03:28
like it's Bombers will get put into the
03:32
mix pretty much right away if you're in
03:34
a spit rank or a cargo glider for that
03:38
matter first time out you're scared like
03:42
you never known what scared is get over
03:47
it somewhat but it's always on your mind
03:50
weighing you down
03:52
the more I fly the more I can control it
03:55
it's like exams for me the more I do
03:58
them the better I do but it's a little
04:01
bit different up there
04:05
you're in that insanity around you all
04:11
the training in the world can't give you
04:14
what you really need to come back one -
04:17
what's that
04:20
Lady Luck
04:23
[Music]
04:31
[Music]
04:39
the one flight that probably stands out
04:41
the in my mind is a second 109 that I
04:46
shot down you know for for three and a
04:49
half years overseas I shot down to one
04:51
on ions on this one we had we were
04:54
flying it as a squadron of twelve and I
04:58
spotted a Jerry formation that could
05:01
tell it was the Jerry's from the way
05:02
they flew when they went through cloud
05:04
unlike us they got into a line of
05:06
breasts which made a lot of sense to me
05:08
because then they all came out together
05:11
and I spotted this off in the distance
05:14
and I drew to the tension this
05:15
coordinator he couldn't see them so he
05:17
asked me to take over I was leading a
05:19
four-man section take over and getint go
05:24
in that direction which I did and after
05:26
a while he picked them up too and
05:28
somehow he was able to maneuver us so
05:31
that we were flying in line abreast
05:34
right behind the Jerry's and a hundred
05:36
feet below them and they hadn't spotted
05:38
us and at that point he said you know
05:41
every man for himself or something like
05:43
that and he'll heal the fire on his and
05:46
I open fire on mine the one I had was
05:52
carrying a 500-pound bomb under the
05:54
belly well he got rid of that in a hurry
05:56
and then he broke tighter than the first
05:59
one I got so tight that while I could
06:02
turn inside him I couldn't turn that
06:05
last bit to lead him if I tried shooting
06:10
I had just been wasting way my shots and
06:12
he kept this up for what three turns and
06:15
then he pulled the stunt that I was
06:17
aware of what they hadn't hadn't
06:19
encounter before where he suddenly
06:22
leveled off and closed the throttle so
06:25
immediately I have three choices to make
06:28
collide with him turn to the left or to
06:31
the right in which case I would
06:32
overshoot him and then he'd be able to
06:34
turn in behind me and I'm a dead goose
06:36
so for some reason earlier I rammed on
06:39
full rudder
06:41
put the ailerons in the opposite
06:43
direction and skidded flat the system
06:47
almost hit his tail just missed his tail
06:50
slide slid out the system I was within a
06:54
foot of his wing tip with my wingtip and
06:56
I was gradually sliding past him
06:58
so I fishtailed on the rudder to stop
07:02
that and we ended up flying wing tip to
07:05
wing tip and I can still remember
07:06
looking across at the Jerry sitting
07:09
there and he hit on a light-colored
07:10
flying jacket of some kind he's looking
07:13
at me and I'm looking at him and saying
07:16
who's going to who's going to quit first
07:19
well I know that his stalling speed was
07:21
higher than mine so he was going to have
07:23
to do something first
07:24
what he did was open the throttle quick
07:26
and he left me about three hundred yards
07:29
behind well I wasn't going to give him
07:32
another chance to get into this turning
07:33
business so at about 300 yards with my
07:37
sight right on his cockpit I gave him a
07:40
short burst and immediately his canopy
07:42
flew off but he kept flying so I gave
07:46
him another short burst and out comes
07:48
the parachute I looked around and there
07:51
was nobody in the sky we're alone the
07:54
two of us so then I thought nobody to
07:58
witness it I wouldn't be able to claim
08:00
this and I was determined I was going to
08:01
claim it so I thought I'll take his
08:03
picture so I came in around in a big
08:06
turn got him nicely lined up with the
08:10
camera was just about to take his
08:11
picture and I rely was going to hit him
08:13
I still had my throttle wide open from
08:17
chasing him
08:18
so I throttled right back and came
08:21
around in a bigger loop the circle and
08:23
caught him and I have a perfect picture
08:25
of him and his parachute going down and
08:28
after that I I came home and I found out
08:32
from the German records later that he
08:35
had been wounded Miller with the first
08:37
shot or the second but that's why he but
08:40
jumped out
08:42
but believe it the story is true
08:48
why was it called a dogfight why not
08:52
clash of Eve that's cool in the sky what
08:55
the dogs have anything to do with fly it
08:57
quit flapping your gums for a moment and
09:00
I'll tell ya a dogfight is a fierce
09:03
battle between the two Mad Dogs fighting
09:05
to the death really describes it don't
09:08
you think
09:09
two planes ducking and diving spinning
09:13
and shooting hell-bent on destroying
09:15
each other and what's even crazier is
09:17
most of these dogfights lasts on average
09:19
no more than 30 seconds and each
09:23
spitfire is only loaded with 15 seconds
09:26
of continuous gunfire so you do the math
09:28
there Andy those fighter pilots they get
09:34
the life the glamour a couple of quick
09:38
engagements and they're back for
09:41
afternoon tea and crumpets it's not like
09:43
us Bomber Command or like the turtle and
09:47
they're the hair but turtle always wins
09:51
slow and steady wins the race in this
09:54
race slow and steady gets you lined up
09:58
in enemy gun sight shot down there's no
10:01
glory in that so what you're fighting
10:03
for personal glory or to kill the enemy
10:05
maybe a little of both but is there
10:09
really any glory and killing another
10:11
human being I suppose there is if
10:15
they're trying to kill you
10:17
[Music]
10:34
by step fire was light and maneuverable
10:41
fun to fly the typhoon wasn't but it was
10:50
exciting to fire because you were doing
10:52
exciting things
10:55
what we can do with it with the typhoon
10:57
was attack columns of Tanks and every
11:04
tank had to have men with them men with
11:08
them to operate that tank was the crews
11:11
the soldiers that went along fought with
11:16
that tank German soldiers the mechanics
11:22
to work on the tank fuel ammunition for
11:27
the tank all that kind of stuff was it
11:30
with a typhoon you could kill all those
11:33
trucks and make a mess of them and block
11:37
the roads for the one thing sort of a
11:40
down there and for typhoon it was like a
11:42
shooting gallery so it was a a tank
11:45
referred to as a tank buster an
11:48
excellent low-level attack aircraft and
11:52
excellent
11:54
[Music]
12:07
[Music]
12:11
and our doing our work we were attacked
12:13
quite frequently more than occasionally
12:19
by American aircraft who do difficulty
12:23
in recognizing the typhoon as a an
12:28
allied aircraft it's the truth and
12:34
should be told I see always new to room
12:39
I knew too that area he'd been fighting
12:41
in Europe and had a good name but he
12:46
didn't he had no experience with the
12:49
taboc
12:50
topography there and he told him after
12:53
three roads you can attack anything you
12:57
see the enemy to eat counted three roads
13:01
but one of them wasn't a road it was
13:03
just a trail so this next road we saw
13:06
trucks on it so we started you to give
13:09
up and they were a British Army he
13:13
senses we did fortune didn't kill
13:15
anybody
13:19
killed by one of your own planes I must
13:23
have been the worst thing to happen to
13:24
you over there
13:25
I'm not even possible happens all the
13:28
time and warm believe me there are worse
13:30
things in the war
13:31
like what if you think hard enough Andy
13:35
I'm sure you can come up with a few
13:38
[Music]
13:50
[Music]
13:54
normally in Spitfire said these are
13:57
beautiful good Pfizer they didn't have
13:59
gun sights or guns or anything that had
14:03
more full tax in them and they could go
14:05
father and very smooth things they would
14:10
go out on a an exercise if there's a an
14:13
attack somewhere that the army wanted a
14:17
picture of their any tanks in the area
14:21
or something like that they would take
14:23
pictures they had a camera did a
14:26
vertical and then two obliques so they
14:31
could fly down along close to a thing
14:36
and taking a bleak picture of it or fly
14:39
over and take a vertical
14:42
I bet you never knew that in the First
14:45
World War the primary role of the
14:48
aeroplane was to gather information to
14:50
find out the enemy was doing behind the
14:52
trenches wasn't it shoot down the red
14:56
bearing like some of them picture shows
14:58
lead you to believe no sir
15:01
solid reconnaissance save lives in that
15:04
war famous true in this one they used to
15:09
spit that's right
15:10
we use a spit multi-engine aircraft are
15:14
just too slow too easily picked off by
15:16
Jerry fighters not the spit did you know
15:20
that most are unarmed if like deep
15:25
behind enemy lines armed with only
15:26
cameras to find out what the Fuhrer is
15:29
up to you know what they say college is
15:32
power really son whoever had the biggest
15:35
gun holds the power
15:47
[Applause]
15:47
[Music]
15:54
I've been on patrol over London on a
15:59
freedom beacon well I took off way up
16:02
into the Cambridge area we caught up to
16:04
a German airplane going out into the
16:06
North Sea and he was going home flat out
16:09
and it was a different model
16:11
it was either a 388 Junkers 88 or 188
16:15
and my navigator who was a real
16:18
enthusiast on on information like they
16:21
said after we shot it and it was in
16:23
flames and going down
16:24
he said let's get in closer so I can
16:26
give more information to the
16:28
intelligence people when we got on the
16:30
ground it was a stupidest thing I ever
16:32
did in my life and we've gone in and as
16:34
was getting close and the airplane was
16:37
completely in flames but the mid-upper
16:40
gunner was still in his turret on this
16:42
airplane and I saw the tert moving
16:44
around to come bear it on me and broke
16:50
as hard as I could to the left and he
16:51
started it almost six inches from one
16:54
wing tip and could have stopped six
16:56
inches from the other wing to put
16:57
30-some rounds of thirteen millimeter
17:01
into my aeroplane two or three through
17:03
the cockpit when a vagator had perspex
17:07
into his face of things and one winter
17:10
we sat side by side one of the bullets
17:13
went right through between the two of us
17:15
amongst other things well it both
17:19
engines were badly shot up one of them
17:22
the piston was shot right out of it on
17:24
the right-hand engine and I was going to
17:28
crash land called the radio was still
17:31
working at the big armored crash strip
17:34
in in Norfolk and they said we can't
17:36
take you because the airborne is
17:40
littered with bombers coming back from a
17:42
raid so we tried and we went on to
17:46
Bradwell Bay which was about another 50
17:47
60 miles with this airplane in this
17:50
shape and we landed and the one thing it
17:54
was most interesting on that when I went
17:56
put on the brakes
17:58
there weren't any brakes one of the
17:59
rounds had gone through the air bottles
18:02
in the back so I didn't hear so I
18:03
grabbed looked in the middle of the
18:05
airfield and there was the airplane just
18:07
dripping fuel and all arrested never
18:09
caught fire and that without a question
18:12
of a doubt was the most interesting one
18:15
during the war
18:16
[Music]
18:28
[Music]
18:33
you've heard of people who are cowards
18:38
in the first world war they used to
18:41
stand them up against the wall and shoot
18:43
them but in our war they were called LM
18:48
s lack of warm fiber
18:51
so one South African lad was posted to
18:55
this quadrant by this time I was a fight
18:57
leader and he was assigned to me to
19:03
Train mission the first time we took off
19:07
I was leading a flight on to George I
19:11
think it was an army support operation
19:14
and we'd no sooner got airborne and he
19:17
said my engines givin me trouble I have
19:21
to return home so this wasn't unusual a
19:25
lot of people on their first flight had
19:27
imagined they had engine trouble so so
19:32
we let him go home I still had another
19:35
five of us to do the job the next time I
19:40
took him up with just two of us and we
19:42
were going on an interdiction and I
19:46
could see wild a headed dust cup rising
19:50
off this road I knew there was something
19:52
coming so I said to this kid arm your
19:56
guns you put on your gun sight be
19:58
prepared I'm going to fire on this
20:00
target shouldn't you got within range I
20:05
did go in and I fired my guns and looked
20:09
nothing happened
20:11
looked around and here was dust coming
20:14
up in the jungle by the quarter of a
20:16
mile away like it was a new airplane
20:19
just been overhauled just come to the
20:21
squadron and they'd put me in it and
20:23
they'd married check to see that the
20:25
guns were harmonized they'd said in the
20:28
guns pointing head they were important
20:30
guerrillas
20:32
so I've passed over this target and it
20:36
was a touring car touring car like
20:38
Hitler used to ride with two Japanese
20:41
generals you know and the driver I could
20:44
see the red epaulets past collar tabs
20:48
and they their car was half tilted over
20:53
into the ditch and they were running
20:55
across to the jungle but I looked to see
20:59
the bullets from my number two nothing
21:03
happened so I pulled up and I said why
21:07
didn't you fire that target he said I
21:09
don't see anything sure I don't can't
21:12
even sure what do you need to subject
21:14
his pail of dust for miles leading
21:17
straight to it I said okay I'll fly low
21:21
over this it's a vehicle when I'm
21:24
directly over downtown you win and then
21:27
you go in and destroy it you're not
21:29
going to kill anybody because there's
21:31
nobody in it just just destroy and you
21:34
may be to extend the waters to reduce
21:36
the length of the Warford UI by a few
21:39
hours and then I watch them didn't do
21:44
anything just flew I said aren't you
21:46
going to go and destroy that vehicle I
21:48
don't see anything sure I don't see
21:51
anything sure that's all I kept saying
21:54
so I guess the tea was and now I'm EFT
21:58
by then and we went home but I thought
22:02
I'd given one more chance and we went
22:06
off with just the two of us the next
22:08
again but we no sooner got airborne when
22:12
this kid said my engines giving me
22:15
trouble I said go on home I'll talk to
22:20
you and we get home and I wasn't
22:22
supposed to continue because we weren't
22:24
allowed to fly singly mostly the lesson
22:28
to you but I went anyway and about five
22:33
minutes later I saw massive airplanes
22:36
coming towards the sky was full of
22:39
airplanes
22:40
as I passed under them about 400 feet
22:43
below them but they all had rising Suns
22:47
looks I count roughly condom about 50
22:50
Japanese fighters and I watched I was
22:56
course throws death except that I
23:01
watched them see of any any broke off
23:04
from the formation but they didn't they
23:06
just flew on my foo right bag so I
23:10
called operations and gave the number of
23:13
aircraft exact position of the exact
23:17
direction they were flying but the kid
23:20
obviously heard my message to operations
23:25
and he panicked and he either landed
23:31
with the brakes on or he landed and
23:34
tried to stop social too fast
23:37
the engine stalled and they the Merlin
23:39
engines made a lot of crackling noise
23:42
when they were cooling down and he was
23:44
sure leaving his aircraft as aircraft
23:48
was on fire anyway a bunch of troops
23:51
that were in a slit trench on the side
23:53
of the runway waiting for the Japanese
23:55
ran out lifted up their captain Halldor
23:58
boat and he was a raving maniac they had
24:03
to hold him down but for them to hold
24:05
him down from the raid was over and the
24:07
maggots coming to the whole industry
24:09
check and I never saw him again
24:15
lack of moral fiber is just a fancy way
24:19
of saying that someone had no guts right
24:21
back that they were a coward it's not
24:24
that simple and ease let me see if I can
24:28
explain it to you sortie after sortie
24:33
every pilot of fighter planes or every
24:37
crew member of a lank or any other
24:39
aircraft for that matter they risk
24:42
everything up there
24:45
day and night we bring the war to the
24:48
enemy guys break down it's not that they
24:54
care more about their own survival is
24:56
that it all becomes too much for them
24:59
and sometimes they just can't pull
25:02
themselves up by the bootstraps things
25:06
we do to each other and war it's just
25:11
not natural
25:13
one day you're dancing at home the Glenn
25:17
Miller with your best gal and next
25:19
you're here witness how horrible death
25:24
can be what choice do we have
25:27
it's either them or it's us no guns
25:34
tell me what guts are Andy I think it
25:39
takes real guts not to fight and let
25:43
others fight your battles sacrifice
25:47
their lives and that's there
25:52
[Music]
26:09
I met a guy some of there but now Percy
26:12
cares from out west and Percy and I
26:15
became friends there and we sort of
26:17
stuck together buying luck of the next
26:19
posting person I went to training
26:21
together the flight commander was going
26:25
to take us on an OP so uh but I said -
26:28
ready to take off and there wasn't
26:31
anybody who couldn't get their aircraft
26:33
going so ice I dare say it's everything
26:36
get going I'll fly fighter cover for you
26:38
which is unusual to do such a thing but
26:41
I did and watched Percy start off in his
26:46
dive and he just blew up I'm also kind
26:48
of hit and one of the bombs with a piece
26:51
of crap or something I just blew up you
26:54
know so
27:01
sorry
27:12
[Music]
27:21
it was my stupid day really it was my
27:23
day off and I had gone down to the
27:26
flightline and I was waxing my aircraft
27:30
so I could get another little bit of
27:32
speed out of it and the other flight
27:36
said well Lord were short of pilots can
27:39
you fly with us today and I said sure
27:43
and off we went and my radio went out I
27:49
didn't have any radio and I stupidly
27:53
stayed with them and we were attacked by
27:57
one on mines employed and I didn't see
28:00
it my number two
28:03
broke and I was on my own I sawtooth
28:06
109s down there and I went down I know
28:09
boy I'm gonna be a hero today and the
28:11
next thing I knew I weaved you know only
28:15
look back and this guy was shooting at
28:17
me
28:18
the aircraft was badly hit a shell hit
28:24
the fuselage right about here and bits
28:26
and pieces went into my arm
28:29
but the airplane was still flying so I I
28:33
spun down to a fairly low altitude and
28:36
then headed towards home the engine quit
28:41
on me and I found a flat spot net set it
28:44
down there I left everything there
28:47
nearby was a a series of trees going up
28:53
the mountain and it was a stream that
28:57
had dried up but the trees were on
29:00
either side and I felt secure in their
29:03
other sight and they tore my shirt up
29:06
and banished my arm and then walked up
29:10
the streamlet and I was well into the
29:14
field when a an armored car came down
29:18
the road today they took me to a
29:20
casualty clearing Center I remember the
29:25
doctor saying now you start counting
29:27
backwards from Ted I don't think I got
29:30
very far before it
29:31
sleep and when I woke up my armors and
29:35
valleys however I couldn't get any of
29:39
the doctors to film my unit to tell them
29:42
that I was ok I think was about 10 10
29:45
days that my mother hadn't heard
29:48
anything about it she heard that she got
29:51
the signal that I was missing and it
29:55
must have been awful because she was all
29:57
alone dad was in the service and he was
30:00
away I think that was probably the thing
30:07
that that killed her because in 1951 she
30:11
died and it was from a nervous colitis
30:15
problem that probably was generated at
30:19
that time right I feel somewhat guilty
30:22
about that well not being able to talk
30:32
to your loved ones back home
30:34
that must have sucked sucked tough it
30:39
must have been tough and tootin it's
30:41
tough there's a whole heap of worrying
30:45
going on back home we don't always get
30:48
their letters they don't always get ours
30:52
any news from the front
30:54
good or bad never gets to the ones we
30:58
left behind fast enough I guess the
31:02
times that's not knowing must have been
31:05
the worst thing of all
31:07
[Music]
32:10
No

Lesson Plans: Episode 2

Comparing Fighter Aircraft

In Episode 3, RCAF veterans and others describe what it was like to fly bombing missions during the Second World War — and what it was like to suffer the consequences on the ground. From the brotherhood of crews to the challenges involved in accurate targeting, their firsthand accounts bring history to life in an engaging and often moving way. Topics include briefings, the importance of heated flightsuits, the perils of searchlights and flak, victims of bombing raids, and the moral dilemmas many bombing crews faced.

The interviews are interspersed with archival photographs and film footage. Scenes between Cadet Andy and Captain Johnny C provide context and additional information on what it was like to go to war.

00:11
I didn't mind dying I wasn't afraid of
00:14
dying and I expected to die but the
00:17
thing that really bothered me was my
00:20
parents I know it was going to be a
00:23
particular vote of them would have been
00:27
something terrible and that's what I
00:29
worried about all the time about dying
00:32
but as far as dying in itself it didn't
00:36
bother me I expected to but I was lucky
00:40
and it was as I like to emphasize again
00:43
it was all luck survival was a hundred
00:46
percent luck
00:49
[Music]
01:20
first sortie by Bombers of a Canadian
01:23
squadron took place on the night of June
01:26
12th 1941
01:28
one year later 68 Royal Canadian Air
01:32
Force two engine bombers took part in
01:34
the first 1,000 bomber raid during the
01:37
war bombing raids steadily intensified
01:40
battering the industrial cities of
01:42
Germany u-boat bases and railway centers
01:45
from Norway to France
01:47
Farmar command had the highest
01:49
percentage of Canadian personnel killed
01:51
in the Second World War
02:04
you
02:11
pilots navigated bombers while those
02:15
areas and Gunners were all in little
02:19
groups while our pilot went over and he
02:25
picked out a navigator and he told the
02:30
navigator he says Val you go pick the
02:33
rest of the crew some people went for
02:36
religion if you were religious you've
02:39
got talking to other people that were
02:41
religious - and you crewed up other
02:44
people were drinkers which included me
02:48
now my crew but we didn't drink to
02:50
assess the course but you walk around
02:52
with a big Stein of beer in your hand on
02:55
the knee or drinker I look back and see
02:58
how we relied on them each each person
03:02
had to rely on the other person and a
03:05
crew was a crew and if one was relaxed
03:08
you never survive they become like like
03:12
a family and believe me each one or vice
03:18
would consider the other one much closer
03:21
than I have consider my brother
03:26
to really fool Lancaster
03:28
I still do with the crew speaking of
03:32
crews I guess there really was important
03:34
they got all the right personalities
03:35
together what if you were the odd man
03:37
out what are you getting at like a few
03:41
hats or hook up with the crew that
03:43
didn't drink and you did or weren't
03:45
religious and you were what did you feel
03:47
like an outsider up there every cruise
03:51
only as strong as its weakest link
03:54
everyone has to have each other's back
03:56
things go bad quick and what if a crew
04:01
member doesn't pull his own weight
04:03
you take him aside and you tell him
04:06
what's what he doesn't start pulling his
04:08
weight you set him straight
04:10
until he does you would even go as far
04:14
singling him out yeah whatever it takes
04:17
oh no that's so wrong wrong let me tell
04:23
you what's wrong Andy it's worrying
04:26
about people's feelings when it's my
04:29
life and the crews on the line
04:32
[Music]
04:49
this together and get the bacon and eggs
04:53
before we took all this and those days
04:56
that was a big deal because in England
04:59
was everything was rationed super so I
05:03
also see that that's like being my last
05:07
meal you know before before the
05:11
execution we went from the breakfast
05:15
down to the breathing room once you ever
05:18
learned then they closed the door lock
05:20
the doors and there's a big screen which
05:24
is covered the commanding officer of the
05:28
squadron walked in and he would pull the
05:31
curtain and there was your route marked
05:34
on a tape and if it was a tough route
05:37
you'd hear all kinds of sighs and cries
05:40
out from these guys and it was an easy
05:43
route on the coast you didn't have far
05:46
to go everybody would be quite happy
05:50
what if you thought the mission was
05:52
unsafe could you refuse to go refuse an
05:57
order this is war Andy it's not like
06:00
like not doing your homework when you're
06:03
told to or you're on the job where if
06:06
you don't do what the boss tells you you
06:08
get fired here not following orders can
06:11
get you court-martialed even in prison
06:14
you'll fly the damn sortie
06:18
[Music]
06:36
inside it's quite cold because you're at
06:40
20,000 feet and the temperature is
06:42
really frigid up there so we say have a
06:45
big pipe like it having a dryer flexible
06:50
pipe that come down and it was attached
06:52
to one of the engines and the blow heat
06:54
down into the nose where we were and
06:57
because you're working with your bare
06:59
hands and it's pretty hard to work that
07:02
they're really cold and you're trying to
07:05
work at a handheld computer the way back
07:08
at the back was the tail gunner and he
07:12
had electric electrically heated suit
07:14
because it was pretty cold to it and is
07:16
there I was a tail gunner and there was
07:20
so cold the temperature was minus 40 to
07:24
minus 60 degrees at that and I wore
07:27
always clothing I wore stockings up to
07:31
my thigh thrown ex-writer
07:34
my battles issue that I lacked ly heated
07:38
suit and had slippers and gloves never
07:43
put on a big suit is quoted on the top
07:49
of that then I put my flying suit on
07:51
then I put my parachute chewed on
07:57
did you ever lose focus being that cold
08:00
for such long stretches of time
08:04
I'd be lying to you if I said no but
08:07
what you have to understand things can
08:09
get pretty routine sortie after sortie
08:12
but then world can get turned upside
08:15
down in a moment's notice then you don't
08:17
feel a thing you just react to the
08:20
threat
08:20
[Music]
08:29
I hated searchlights I was scared of
08:41
serious lights everybody has certain
08:43
things that they were afraid of fighters
08:46
was another thing flak was another thing
08:49
but we got coned one time usually if he
08:53
got coned with searchlights yeah you
08:56
didn't get out of the cone they used to
08:58
hosepipe the flak right up the cone and
09:02
that was the end of you if they never
09:06
host piped it up that meant was fighters
09:08
there and it was just a matter of a
09:11
minute or so before a fighter yashi you
09:14
were completely blinded it's hard to
09:19
imagine just how bright he was but we
09:22
tried everything to get out of the cone
09:24
we go would climb he slipped occur in
09:27
there so finally the skipper stopped
09:30
any-any slipped sideways and he slipped
09:34
right over another aircraft was
09:36
underneath and we didn't see the other
09:37
aircraft but all of a sudden we were
09:41
were bright and we got with complete
09:45
darkness and guess where the
09:47
searchlights were they were on the
09:49
aircraft underneath us and it was shut
09:53
down within seconds and I was never so
09:57
happy seeing the getting out of the cone
10:00
and and seven guys all going down to
10:05
their death right away and
10:08
I couldn't believe how I feel so good
10:11
that see seven guys were dying instead
10:14
of us so
10:19
how do you wrap your head around that I
10:21
don't understand why would you wrap your
10:23
head around anything no you don't get it
10:25
I mean seeing your buddies guys you fly
10:28
with get killed because you moved your
10:31
plane out of the searchlight and put
10:33
them in the cones bull's eye that's part
10:37
of the fog of war we're all just trying
10:40
to survive up there complete our sorties
10:43
and in order to do that we often like I
10:46
said I have to react instantly to the
10:50
threat then the luck of the draw any
10:55
skipper could do that to me and I
10:57
wouldn't think any less of them if I
11:00
survive that
11:01
[Music]
11:18
FLAC is another name for it I guess a
11:22
slang expression might say for
11:24
anti-aircraft fire and the Germans had a
11:28
lot of anti-aircraft guns around cities
11:32
that they're like to be bombed and then
11:34
when it came up it see a big black burst
11:39
in only like a little black cloud you'd
11:45
be full of holes
11:46
see these 88 would burst they were
11:49
shooting at you but they didn't have to
11:51
hit you long as they burst close eeeh it
11:55
was a shell and and the shrapnel would
11:59
go through your aircraft and if it never
12:01
had a vital spot you were you were fine
12:03
if it never had few you were fine my
12:06
skipper he used to call everybody up
12:08
every yet individually he'd call him up
12:11
every 15 and 20 minutes as if they were
12:14
still alive if he never got an answer he
12:17
did send somebody back that will usually
12:20
the wireless operator send them back to
12:23
check on you and he'd come back and say
12:26
that you were dead or you were wounded
12:28
or something with flak that had come
12:32
through the aircraft and a funny thing
12:35
happened to me one time there was a big
12:38
hole came through my turret and I was
12:42
about the size of my fist and it it went
12:47
in the bridge of my nose and took all
12:49
the skin off but never never bled
12:51
running and I wanted this piece or a
12:54
souvenir
12:56
you
13:00
[Music]
13:13
so trip was a night trip and it is
13:18
actually scary because it's awful dark
13:23
out there and you're going through
13:24
clouds you don't know how close the
13:28
other aircraft is to you there are
13:30
collisions between aircraft on one the
13:35
last trips there was three midair
13:39
collisions so that meant six crews so
13:43
and the plane to climb there would just
13:46
be going down there being a wing and
13:49
part of a fuse Eliza and when a plane
13:52
starts to spin like that you can't get
13:55
out because of the force of the spin you
13:57
know so they lost a lot of I think most
14:01
of the guys died that were in the
14:04
airplanes and out of all the losses that
14:07
day there was seven aircraft loss and
14:09
600 by collision and there was two
14:12
aircraft directly in front of us and
14:16
they caught it I don't know what
14:17
happened they must have hit a slipstream
14:19
or something and there was seven or
14:25
eight chutes came out one guy waved to
14:27
me went right by me and a chute waved to
14:30
me and then I way back and they went
14:34
down in the water just before in the
14:36
North Sea just before we reach the aisle
14:39
and I was working with a fellow one time
14:42
quite a few years later I was telling
14:44
about this I said I often wonder what
14:46
happened on skies and he said why can't
14:49
I he says I was on that there squadron
14:52
you were both in the same squadron and
14:55
he said two were picked up within 20
14:56
minutes and we're all dead from I told
14:59
you the cold water
15:04
how could you hit each other and
15:06
something as big as a sky you think it
15:09
wouldn't be possible but it is you see
15:12
we fly in a type formation so the enemy
15:14
fighters can't pick us off strength in
15:17
numbers hundreds of lengths heading
15:22
towards the same point the same sorting
15:25
wave after wave off to traffic lots of
15:30
chop
15:32
accidents are bound to happen it
15:34
happened in every sortie can't get away
15:36
from you make it sound like it's a
15:40
little fender bender where nobody gets
15:42
hurt
15:42
but you're talking about wiping out
15:45
entire cruise planes everything lighting
15:48
the dust the risk we all take every time
15:52
out but the enemy has to be hit hit hard
15:57
over and over aircraft and crews can be
16:02
replaced we do what we have to do to win
16:05
this war and then maybe maybe no one
16:10
else has to die
16:11
[Music]
16:27
[Music]
16:31
the engineer chase goes off his seat and
16:37
stands behind the pilot looking out at
16:41
the Astrodome which is a dome above the
16:49
aircraft there where the navigator takes
16:52
Astro shots now the reason he goes there
16:57
is to watch out for aircraft above who
17:02
may have their bum a doors open if an
17:06
aircraft above you has a thumb doors
17:09
open you better get out of the way in a
17:12
hurry because you get a load of bombs on
17:16
they were over the target and the
17:19
Bombers underwear on the bombing run and
17:22
the bomber machine oh oh there's another
17:25
aircraft rated under us so we told the
17:29
pilot go left go to the port side so we
17:33
went the port side the guys below are
17:35
looking up and they go the port side so
17:37
we switch or the other side they switch
17:40
or the other side they're a lot more
17:41
nervous than we were and this was going
17:43
back and forth finally we both went the
17:47
opposite way stand we went on and
17:48
dropped our bombs anyways when we got
17:51
back to interrogation afterwards and our
17:57
bomb aimer got talking to his brother
17:58
who is a pilot of another aircraft and
18:01
on the squadron guess who was the pilot
18:04
that I aircraft it was underneath us his
18:06
brother like a good thing he he didn't
18:11
drop his bombs right then and sometimes
18:13
you'd see a picture of when the bombs
18:17
were dropped there'd be an aircraft
18:18
right to the center
18:22
so let me see if I got this right not
18:25
only did you have to worry about the
18:27
enemy shooting you down from the ground
18:28
and from the air we also had to dodge
18:31
your own planes from colliding with you
18:33
and to top it off had to worry about
18:35
bombs being dropped from above by your
18:38
own plane your smart egg there Andy
18:40
called friendly fire
18:42
never on purpose and you pray to God it
18:44
doesn't happen to you but happens in
18:47
every war and how would you feel if you
18:50
dropped one of your own bombs on your
18:51
own aircraft would sound bad
18:58
let's have you go on art of war you have
19:02
to keep fighting there's no choice so is
19:06
a choice
19:06
oh yeah cadet what war of you fought it
19:10
[Music]
19:20
[Music]
19:27
the Germans used to put factories
19:31
whether a building aircraft and trucks
19:34
and armament right in the center of
19:37
cities and if you never if he went right
19:39
on the target you dropped it on a big
19:41
hotel or something right right close to
19:44
it as you are approaching the target the
19:49
bomber on a mur pretty well takes over
19:53
the toll of the aircraft he's lying down
19:58
on his stomach watching out visually at
20:01
the target and he tells the pilot to go
20:06
that left little bit right any but left
20:10
little bit right
20:11
and finally he says steady and when he
20:15
says steady the next thing is he pushed
20:19
the button the bombs are gone each
20:21
airplane has an Mac a bomb aimer and
20:27
with his his watch and he's both deal
20:33
with it the navigator to get over the
20:35
target exactly at the time so over the
20:41
target you you're looking down looking
20:44
down we all set the bomb you're look up
20:47
does another airplane just above you
20:50
this rig is Bob doors old
20:53
so if dominant Amer's tells you hold it
20:56
hold it hold it I said nice take help
20:59
we'll move over
21:00
he lets go the bomb we missed the target
21:03
by miles is but we missed those bombs
21:07
coming down to the idea that you're bang
21:11
on target no pause but every time you
21:14
got you had a camera in the airplane
21:17
they take a picture of the your your
21:20
bombs landing my mom that day there were
21:27
no the target was over there to left the
21:29
bombs roll to the right
21:32
so so you can't believe the pictures you
21:35
see as I'm not the only one that's
21:40
insane
21:41
just randomly dropping your bombs on
21:43
target do the best we can with what
21:47
we've got technology is getting better
21:51
all the time
21:52
we have pathfinders radar and navigation
21:57
systems we're getting more accurate at
21:59
hitting targets sometimes still like
22:05
dropping a coin in a wishing well you
22:09
know how the ripples spread out when the
22:10
coin hits the water
22:11
that's like our bombs eventually we hit
22:14
the target when we miss
22:18
[Music]
22:19
civilians die they die in every war and
22:24
greater the wards or civilians dying
22:27
plain and simple
22:29
what it shouldn't be plain and simple
22:33
when it comes to civilians dying
22:35
[Music]
22:42
you
22:53
imagine 100 lancaster bumble or in one
22:58
level flying and all of them releasing
23:01
their bombs at the same time it's just
23:05
nothing left down below at first it
23:09
wasn't so bad but then it was every
23:12
night and every night they always came
23:15
doing a night so that that was the
23:18
beginning and then it became worse and
23:21
worse and worse but we were sitting
23:24
there in the basement and we listened
23:28
and when you heard the bombs and the
23:32
planes coming closer no my mother was
23:35
sitting beside me and she was kind of
23:38
shaky and I was taking her arm it was it
23:47
was not nice you know what when I meet a
23:52
girl from London I feel she lived
23:58
through the same thing as I did she
24:01
understands me and I understand her I
24:04
was in London when they bombed Lee the
24:07
docks and at that time they came over in
24:13
the afternoon and the set they set the
24:16
Surrey docks on fire and they came back
24:20
at night and they finished finished it
24:24
off you could see the flames from
24:27
everywhere
24:29
and in those days most people and
24:32
ordinary people didn't have telephones
24:36
so you couldn't get in touch with your
24:39
office so when you got to your office
24:42
the only way you knew that people has
24:46
had a bad night was they just went there
24:49
and the empty desk was there and I think
24:53
that was the most horrific part of it
24:57
because you didn't know what had
25:00
happened to the people you know
25:03
sometimes they turned out but sometimes
25:06
they didn't the ambition was clear the
25:11
just flattened the cities yes there were
25:14
military targets yes etc but they rented
25:18
the demolish destroy German cities and
25:22
the population see a lot of people
25:25
blamed or accused bomber command of
25:29
bombing civilians and of course we did
25:34
with what we bombed what we call you
25:39
know bomb bomb everything but in in war
25:42
you you bomb what you have to and you do
25:45
what you're told
25:49
how do you live with the knowledge that
25:52
you've probably killed civilians
25:56
remember it's the Jerry's who started it
25:59
but does that make it right listen Andy
26:02
I didn't start this war men above my pay
26:09
grade or much smarter than you did I
26:13
just do and I'm told to do the
26:16
responsibility falls on their shoulders
26:18
they're the ones who gave one time
26:22
civilians like me weapons that kill go
26:28
talk to them
26:38
[Music]
26:42
you
26:44
[Music]
26:48
when you got back you're always checking
26:52
to see if everybody was back and then
26:55
they say oh no so and so it's a back and
26:57
after a while you knew if he wasn't back
27:00
in an hour - he didn't have enough fuel
27:02
or maybe it found out being landed in
27:05
France or which was a fair enough or in
27:09
some other Airport but other times
27:12
they're just missing and take a day or
27:14
two to find them leave their dad her
27:15
princess in water but it was always an
27:19
anxious time waiting to see that every
27:22
crew came in after you got back we had
27:28
14 aircraft maximum effort was what we
27:31
had to send every night and our maximum
27:34
effort was 14 aircraft and out of that
27:37
14 it was always one that never came
27:42
back and we had to do 30 trips so your
27:48
chances are getting through 30 where it
27:50
weren't very good so after you've done
27:52
about 14 you had survived about a
27:56
hundred percent and your chances after
27:59
that you were way above you the average
28:02
we were very very lucky and I think him
28:06
to survive I think it was about 95
28:13
percent luck and five percent skill
28:18
[Music]
28:20
that bomber commands losses were
28:22
terrible and all terrible
28:23
who were being lost for really young
28:26
guys well educated and know the great
28:30
drain on the country that they should be
28:32
lost like that but they were and and
28:35
looking at that with the bomb bombing
28:39
can't be short looked at it being in
28:42
vain
28:42
we had about 10,000 young Canadians
28:47
average age of about 22 that were killed
28:51
in Bomber Command
28:53
so was was pretty rough I think we
28:57
suffered that highest losses of anybody
28:59
in the war
29:04
[Music]
29:18
at the end of the war the head of
29:22
Fighter Command in England what was
29:25
decorated by the Queen but the head of
29:27
Bomber Command wasn't that was I think
29:30
because of the bombing that he was doing
29:33
every smash on Paris his idea was that
29:37
he could sharpen the war or maybe finish
29:39
the war who subha me because to do it on
29:43
the ground would take maybe much longer
29:46
and cost many more lives of course a lot
29:49
of people use the view that the Germans
29:52
bombed England and we were justified in
29:55
bombing them back sort of I don't know
29:59
whether that's right or not but they did
30:02
a lot of havoc in England in the bombing
30:04
lot of they bombed a lot of then his
30:07
children
30:08
[Music]
30:58
you
31:11
[Music]
31:50
I
31:57
you
32:03
[Music]

 

 

Lesson Plans: Episode 3

Primary Evidence Research

n Episode 4, factory workers and members of various auxiliary forces — including members of the RAF Women’s division, or WAAFs — describe what it was like to support the war effort. From working in aircraft factories to serving as ground crew, their firsthand accounts are shared with gentle humour, bringing history to life in an engaging and often moving way. Topics include Morse Code, plotting the courses of enemy and Allied aircraft, the importance of secrecy, and language misfires.

The interviews are interspersed with archival photographs and film footage. Scenes between Cadet Andy and Captain Johnny C provide context and additional information on what it was like to go to war.

00:27
orange code looks interesting the shift
00:31
work was a pain but helping though or
00:35
effort and that was important to me
00:46
[Music]
01:16
during the Second World War
01:18
Canada needed all Canadians to pitch in
01:21
and support the war effort Canadian
01:24
women enthusiastically embraced this
01:26
opportunity to work in factories and
01:29
newly created women military units Royal
01:33
Canadian Air Forces women's division had
01:35
more than 17,000 members
01:37
[Music]
01:53
I worked at a factory in ours and they
01:59
built the Admiral Anson but I ended up
02:02
up in the office filing stuff the
02:06
welding part was downstairs on the floor
02:09
we could see them and I discovered that
02:12
they were making more money on the floor
02:15
and being nosey I was watching all this
02:19
and and I said well didn't look hard so
02:23
I said what do we do and we had to take
02:25
a course in welding and I remember the
02:29
first night I took it the guy that was
02:32
teaching me a ladle what a hot pipe down
02:37
in front of me and I picked it up to put
02:40
the lugs on or whatever you call those
02:42
who things and I burnt my hand and they
02:46
took me into the doctor and because my
02:51
then-fiance who happen became my husband
02:55
he was standing there smiling and I
02:58
think they were trying to make me say
03:01
something I heard something and I was
03:03
bound I wasn't going to show because if
03:05
you're going to work downstairs with the
03:07
guys you better be brave you know I
03:09
think they were just touched testing my
03:12
mettle you know trying to see how much I
03:15
could take and it might have had to do
03:18
with what we had to do as women you know
03:21
I don't know when we took the course we
03:25
just put our initial first initial so
03:30
that they wouldn't know whether we were
03:32
women or men and they tested this that
03:37
way too and they discovered that all the
03:42
women were passing it more than the men
03:47
and the explanation they gave it was
03:51
something to do with we were used to
03:53
sewing and when you're making the weld
03:57
we were very even where the men would
04:00
they get mop bumpy side
04:02
and the men were making sixty cents an
04:06
hour and the women were only making
04:09
forty cents an hour and of course they
04:13
have a union but we were not allowed to
04:15
join it but it never affected our
04:18
feelings like we didn't hate the
04:21
Marrakesh thing we just put up with it
04:23
was part of the work of that world in
04:26
those days oh I suppose some of the boys
04:31
teased this a lot maybe and they liked
04:34
what we were wearing we had to wear a
04:37
white cover all we hated it like I don't
04:41
like the column now the whole one piece
04:43
that workers were and they would always
04:48
say oh you have big pants on today
04:51
because they would see it through the
04:53
slit where the pocket was but you just
04:56
stood up to them and think of something
05:00
to do or I wouldn't give them the torch
05:02
when he wanted it or something you know
05:04
you just play a little tricks on them
05:07
when I worked at the factory or
05:10
everything the sense of patriotism of me
05:16
was there because my brother was the
05:21
mid-upper gunner in a plane and we were
05:25
very proud of what we were doing
05:26
anyone that I knew was I wasn't terribly
05:30
concerned about the plane I was working
05:33
on what it would do into in the war how
05:36
it would help us I just knew we had to
05:39
make a lot of them and make them fast
05:41
because the Germans were getting
05:45
stronger and stronger and that's the
05:47
only thing you would ever talk about we
05:50
just felt we had to do everything we
05:52
could to healthy for effort
05:57
[Music]
05:59
how many of these trainers are built in
06:02
Canada not sure the plenty many other
06:06
types of aircraft - damn war it's got
06:12
things all twisted inside out at home
06:17
even women are working in factories to
06:20
keep us supplied with aircrafts they
06:25
feel like we're not fighting hard enough
06:28
to end this mess sooner women shouldn't
06:31
have to work it's not right that's quite
06:33
a sexist comment it's a what comment let
06:37
me put it another way you don't think a
06:39
woman can do a man's job
06:40
sure sure they can they're proving
06:43
themselves over here and at home aren't
06:45
they but because it's men are over here
06:48
fighting the gals back home have an
06:52
opportunity to work you tell me Andy
06:56
what's going to happen when all the
06:58
fighting is over and all of us men go
07:01
home looking for work you think all
07:04
those women working now are going to
07:06
want to give that up might be in for a
07:10
surprise
07:10
how it all turns out oh yeah
07:13
[Music]
07:21
No
07:22
[Music]
07:30
Morse code is a month on section and we
07:36
were taught first they thought you call
07:41
them it and the - called da when they
07:46
know where I was going to go together a
07:49
very kind to reasons why not get to use
07:54
the code I know
07:56
and secondly I would slide and to
08:02
another country because you that was not
08:07
part of Canada bit and now exciteing my
08:13
job Ganter I was one of Oh 20 seconds
08:21
for it radio operators sending and
08:25
receiving messages these notices were
08:31
little squirts paper and tweet they were
08:38
encoded v capital efforts respect v
08:43
capped at this space v capital and all
08:47
mixed up capital efforts when they gave
08:51
me a message to send and I would see
08:55
these five letters and I would use the
08:59
bug and then in dots and dashes say Q
09:07
dash dash dot dash so dot the duck
09:14
sending or receiving it looks yes we
09:17
were concerned about what they contained
09:21
and some people said weather reports
09:25
well I am educates and more than that I
09:30
suspect that the upper e F would rather
09:34
have their messages that the receiver
09:41
would understand and hopefully that the
09:46
enemy would know I haven't I guess not
09:50
stressful part the job was trying to be
10:00
civil time because you're fighting being
10:06
tired for one thing here medium
10:16
difficult situations and when people are
10:21
talking about their homes and their
10:25
families and they're lonely trying to
10:30
give sympathy you just wish you could
10:36
help a little or
10:40
I think I'm the kind of person that a
10:43
lot of people confide in
10:45
I don't know what it is about me that
10:49
makes me friendly and willing to loosen
10:59
and being a woman possibly it would it
11:05
would help James you can tell them
11:12
anything always lending in a year when
11:14
things get a little tough over here
11:18
something about them that makes you
11:21
naturally want to open up to them you
11:23
know what I'm saying
11:24
I guess it's the mom thing right they're
11:28
always asking yeah
11:34
no noise on like a couple of pathetic
11:36
sides whatever that means anyway here's
11:42
something else for you to chew on many
11:44
believe that there would be a lot less
11:46
Wars of women renovate
11:48
[Music]
12:08
I was in the lap what women's or theory
12:12
Airport which was a branch of the RF and
12:15
I'm a station that the bigger Hill in
12:18
Kent
12:19
and I worked in the ops room Beacon Hill
12:23
was Fighter Command which took in most
12:25
of the southeast corner of Britain so it
12:31
was a busy sector because most of the we
12:35
were very close to France and the
12:37
Germans used to quite often make quick
12:42
fights across to Britain my job as a
12:46
plotter I would use a long rod with a
12:50
magnet on the end we use metallic arrows
12:55
which were colored that arrow would
12:58
indicate the direction of the plane and
13:00
you just leaned over and put it wherever
13:03
the radar operator was telling you from
13:07
a radar station on the coast they would
13:10
tell us if it was a friendly or or foe
13:14
and they would also we would also get
13:19
the information how high it was and the
13:22
number it was quite often it would be 10
13:26
plus 20 plus we were pushing the arrow
13:29
in the direction of the flight of the
13:32
plane or planes it could be it was very
13:35
important that you put your plot in the
13:39
right place because so many people were
13:43
relying on that particularly the
13:46
officers who were in contact with the
13:50
arrow for the fighter pilots who were
13:55
eventually gonna intercept the German
14:00
planes the plot wasn't in the right
14:03
place then
14:06
planes that would be sent to intercept
14:10
could be going to the wrong place
14:13
well I felt I was a little nervous and
14:17
wanted to make sure I was going to do it
14:20
right because sometimes those possible
14:22
coming across means you know you were
14:24
hearing them very fast because when they
14:27
did when it wasn't that just one player
14:31
plane was German was coming over quite
14:34
often you get two or three groups of
14:37
them when I was telling the German
14:40
planes coming in I think you get a mixed
14:43
feeling you know you're just hopefully
14:45
that they get brought down and that they
14:50
don't do that much damage
14:53
yeah well I felt good because I thought
14:56
well it was always helping the war you
14:59
know and and the other thing was I had a
15:03
pretty kind of lonely lot because my
15:06
parents had separated when I was young
15:09
and I was brought up by my grandmother
15:11
and my father so going into the Air
15:13
Force was was kind of fun to me and when
15:19
I was in the laughs I made a lot of good
15:21
friends and if you ever looked so I went
15:24
in picture they're all in our wedding
15:26
picture of one of where they all are
15:29
those girls I was with they were nice
15:32
Bunch
15:35
Wow I never realized that being a
15:38
plotter had such life-and-death
15:41
consequences attached to it sometimes
15:44
it's the little things like pushing a
15:46
small wooden figure across a huge map of
15:49
Europe to have the greatest impact on us
15:51
or D&E; everything is connected somewhere
15:54
or another
15:57
[Music]
16:14
one hour that factory there were posters
16:18
on the walls and it would be a picture
16:21
of someone holding their finger to them
16:24
open wench
16:25
because you are not supposed to discuss
16:28
even I presume anything that was going
16:31
on in the factory
16:32
that's all I took it and we were checked
16:37
at night when we left and when we came
16:39
in with a parcel we had to let them
16:41
inspect it the secrecy and I was used to
16:47
that because writing to John the letters
16:51
were all blacked out where they we
16:53
didn't want us to say things and all but
16:55
it never what bothered us because we
16:57
knew you know a lot of a lot of people's
17:00
lives dependent on this when I was again
17:04
here we were not allowed on the airfield
17:08
until after the war we were to go
17:12
straight to that hangar or the cafeteria
17:17
because of the or they kept the airfield
17:23
quite secret I would say finally that
17:28
whatever we get on base was wood we
17:32
never broke Aust it we kept it to
17:35
ourselves because rizal very but still
17:42
we were still at war so you had to be
17:46
careful what you said did must have been
17:52
tough brothels involved in the war to
17:54
not talk about it to keep it all to
17:56
themselves loose lips sink ships there
18:00
are a lot of spies out there on both
18:02
sides just waiting to soak up a juicy
18:05
secret from the leaky faucet how is that
18:08
prevented from happening by keeping the
18:11
information at a need-to-know basis by
18:15
limiting the fraternization between
18:17
various military and civilian
18:19
organizations
18:20
but sometimes sometimes each side leaks
18:25
misinformation to confuse one another
18:27
really so things haven't changed that
18:31
much
18:31
[Music]
18:49
we're always a lot of my my dad that my
18:52
job as an art enemy was to make sure the
18:56
machine guns were working properly we
19:01
had to remove them from the wings so
19:03
Nadab sherry them to our tent don't
19:06
repair whatever was wrong and then put
19:10
them back on the planes for repair temp
19:15
was right there on the airfield you
19:18
never check each wing there was two
19:22
303's
19:23
and 10.5 gun having when you're working
19:29
with live ammunition
19:31
it's dangerous all the time
19:35
you need to take precaution and I all
19:37
the time so dismantling cleaning
19:42
reloading and replacing the guns you
19:47
couldn't drag your feet about it you had
19:51
to do the work as quick as possible
19:54
because you never knew when the order
19:59
would come down for the plane to take
20:02
off when the job was done on a plane you
20:08
had to sign a ticket so it was serious
20:15
work and it didn't matter which plane
20:19
you worked on and fought the loading
20:21
bombs on two Lancaster's or whatever
20:25
Mikey you had to sign your name on the
20:29
ticket when the work was done cinema
20:32
mafia if someone's signature was on a
20:35
gun that has not been functional well
20:40
yeah that person would have been called
20:42
up to the CEOs office and questions go
20:46
away as to what has had a voice he did
20:49
avenge and depending on what he said or
20:53
the reasons why the work hadn't been
20:55
done properly he might be a state court
20:59
official Kira Brittany that is all I get
21:03
yeah Syria professor Nova now it's not
21:06
just that person it's the pilots life to
21:10
let you see that levy if the gun Jam is
21:16
raised and the pilot can't fire the gun
21:19
so what can you do by his lights on the
21:24
line is a VG peanut the pilots and
21:29
officers would always show us respect
21:32
with respect because best goodness when
21:35
they take that plane up so they knew we
21:39
had done our job right you English
21:41
spectral so the pilots wouldn't mix too
21:44
much with the others
21:46
it isn't that they were in a higher
21:49
class than the rest of us not at all
21:53
we were all there for the same reasons
21:56
to defend the country we were in bottom
22:01
line we were defending our own country
22:04
to AO 40 that not repay you Joe duty
22:11
your bombs and munitions ever improperly
22:14
loaded onto your length Johnny sure it
22:18
happens reports are filed and you hope
22:21
it doesn't happen again having
22:23
everything documented keeps everyone on
22:25
their toes
22:26
things can go sideways real fast if it
22:30
isn't did you ever pull aside one of
22:32
your ground crew and shoot them out no I
22:34
wouldn't do that why why because it's
22:38
like I said it's all documented and the
22:41
bottom line is we all respect one
22:44
another and the tough jobs we have to do
22:46
we might keep to ourselves on the ground
22:49
as their crew and ground crew usually
22:51
don't mix but in the air the sorties
22:54
success relies on teamwork
22:58
you
23:11
Oh de canard
23:16
before takeoff we'd be loaded up with a
23:20
bond at one time we had six times bombs
23:25
and about 2,000 gallons of gasoline
23:28
onboard loaded so large I needed air we
23:33
took off at about a hundred or 200 feet
23:37
from the ground all of a sudden or right
23:39
wing dips like that okay we lost our
23:42
right engine no in eternity never mind
23:45
ma she normally would be a death
23:47
sentence but in a pilot but if such an
23:50
exceptional pilot you look that he
23:52
managed to maintain control of the plane
23:54
yeah easy baba yaga and a balanced
23:56
housing feet happy said guys we have a
23:59
choice either we circle the base for
24:02
five or six hours in order for enough
24:05
fuel to land safely with our bombs or
24:08
why so many we fly a hundred miles off
24:10
of kokino bombed on air drop our bombs
24:12
in the sea and make our way home with
24:15
fuel what do you say what you done it
24:18
dropping our bombs in the sea was
24:20
quicker so we said this let me do that
24:22
we started a slow climb yeah and about
24:25
12,000 feet initiative we're about 100
24:28
miles from the coast everything was
24:31
under control
24:31
our main Provost on it the pilot said
24:34
was Antigua things are looking good from
24:36
where I sit
24:37
what do you say we go on we all said
24:40
let's do it and maybe digit danger so we
24:42
flew onto our target worried about you
24:44
Victor said our speed was reduced so
24:47
when we got to the target everyone had
24:49
already left the home we were all alone
24:52
above Germany which was a good thing
24:54
because the bomb aimer had perfect
24:56
sighting me right on top of target so he
25:00
dropped along with them we take a nice
25:02
picture and we turned back home all
25:04
proud of ourselves skipper
25:06
yeah not much later that you and me this
25:08
mid top gunner says skipper no way six
25:12
enemy fighter planes coming our way
25:14
not a good position to be in you guys
25:17
you do meet Ariana kipper says can we
25:19
take it easy guys
25:21
especially you Gunnarsson and don't
25:23
shoot first wait till they shoot at us
25:26
before you open fire I know through some
25:30
kind of miracle the German fighters
25:32
turned around and flew back to Germany
25:36
we flew back to England we got to the
25:39
base an hour late we disappeared we'd
25:43
been listed am i a missing in action but
25:46
there we were proudest peacocks and very
25:49
happy to be there we were sure our pilot
25:52
would receive a decoration for bravery
25:54
the next morning the whole squadron is
25:57
cavern and see you was standing in front
26:00
of us and he says is sergeant boadwine
26:03
somewhere in the crowd
26:05
aha this means the distinguished flying
26:09
medal for sure I want everybody to look
26:12
at this man
26:13
yesterday flight flesh-and-bone why here
26:16
lost an engine on takeoff and yet he
26:20
continued on to the target
26:22
here it comes we thought sergeant bode
26:25
when all I can say is I admire your
26:28
courage but you haven't got two cents
26:31
worth of judgment or intelligence that
26:34
was all he got for his bravery the worst
26:37
of it all for us is that in the previous
26:40
six months in our squadron to another
26:42
city two crews had problems on their way
26:45
to the target had decided to proceed
26:48
anyways and drop their bombs before
26:51
returning home immediately
26:53
both those pilot had been awarded that
26:55
the Distinguished Flying Cross pilots
26:58
were awarded crosses non-commissioned
27:00
officers were awarded medals our pilot
27:03
was a sergeant was impeccable
27:05
maybe sergeants weren't as intelligent
27:07
as commissioned officers I explained how
27:10
come he became a sergeant at the end of
27:13
flight training sir
27:15
when you got your wings either as a
27:16
pilot to navigator or whatever you were
27:20
automatically promoted to the rank of
27:22
sergeant
27:23
if your marks were exceptionally good
27:26
you received an officer's Commission you
27:28
became a pilot officer sergeant boadwine
27:32
was an exceptional pilot even if he
27:34
wasn't highly educated and he didn't
27:37
speak very good English his instructor
27:40
hood asked how do you feel about going
27:42
overseas sergeant Bowe answered as best
27:45
as he could and it's faulty English I
27:47
don't care I don't care
27:49
haha this man does not care to go
27:51
overseas and that's why sergeant Bowe
27:55
Dwight wasn't offered a commission from
27:56
Her Majesty one second can be shown
27:58
during that summer gestation
28:03
I can't believe it just because the
28:06
instructor misunderstood what the pilot
28:09
said he didn't become an officer and
28:11
because of that he didn't get the medal
28:13
he deserved it's messed up that's the
28:15
size of it not surprising though I can't
28:18
understand half of what the other allied
28:20
pilots are saying over here not even the
28:22
upper crust British one but somehow we
28:25
make it work
28:26
even though at times things get lost in
28:28
translation maybe it was more important
28:32
that we understand the cause that we're
28:33
fighting for it and understanding each
28:35
other but still sucks at this probic
28:39
pilot didn't get the recognition he
28:40
deserved
28:42
Athens more often than you think
28:47
[Music]
29:27
you
30:00
[Music]
30:15
you
30:40
you

 

 

In Episode 5, RCAF veterans and civilians describe the sobering realities of war. From the terrible fear experienced by flyers and civilians alike, to German sieges and food drops by the RAF and RCAF, their firsthand accounts are both touching and sobering, bringing history to life in an often moving way. Topics include civilian starvation in Europe, RCAF prisoners of war, the horrors of concentration camps, and the joy of VE Day.

The interviews are interspersed with archival photographs and film footage. Scenes between Cadet Andy and Captain Johnny C provide context and additional information on what it was really like to go to war.

00:12
we never lost faith in prison camp
00:14
that's one thing I noticed people people
00:18
always look forward to something better
00:24
[Music]
00:53
the civilian death toll the second world
00:57
war was horrendous and devastating up to
01:00
60 million civilians died including six
01:03
million Jews in concentration camps and
01:05
another 28 million civilians died from
01:08
war related disease and famine
01:26
[Music]
01:28
this is near the end of the war when
01:31
we're in Eindhoven Holland we were
01:34
listening to the we had a little small
01:38
radio and we got Arnhem Mary on the on
01:42
the radio and she said we understand
01:45
there's a Canadian squadron and
01:47
Eindhoven Holland and said this is not
01:49
your war you should go home but you know
01:52
we feel so fed sad for you fellows but
01:55
maybe we could come over and wish you
01:58
Merry Christmas so we all laughed
02:01
thought that was a big joke next morning
02:03
there's 35 German aircraft overs at 6
02:08
o'clock in the morning and I was down
02:09
having a shave when they passed over and
02:13
I thought it was our aircraft taken off
02:15
I went out and I looked now we still
02:17
shave and I says boy aren't they low boy
02:19
golly they're so low holy smokes they're
02:23
not ours and so they they damage the
02:28
entire field but anyways we were all out
02:30
there after they left and the planes are
02:34
burning and one of our fellows who
02:36
really wasn't hit badly but he had not
02:39
blood on his face he said take my
02:42
picture I want to send it home to my
02:44
wife so I said come over by this
02:46
aircraft I'll take your picture I was
02:50
never under guns firing at me except
02:55
that one day I showed you the pictures
02:56
where we were staffed I was scared
02:59
I cried I fell down busted my chin and
03:03
all the guys were telling me to get into
03:05
the slit trench I was I was really
03:08
scared I had to say but you're lucky
03:12
you're not carrying a gun and you're not
03:14
a hundred miles up there you're a
03:16
hundred miles back here and nobody's
03:18
firing guns at you
03:20
those guys are getting killed so he shut
03:23
up and I have to insist I was in a war
03:27
but I really wasn't in a war the guy
03:30
that was on the front lines or landing
03:32
or shooting guns was a war
03:36
but I was in a war I grew up I was just
03:47
a kid when I first flew this Lancaster
03:53
now I feel 95 years old or does make men
03:59
out of boys problem is someone refused
04:04
to grow up and that can be their
04:05
downfall what do you mean by that what I
04:09
mean is boys your age feel
04:11
indestructible like nothing's gonna hurt
04:14
them they take foolish risks doesn't
04:17
taking foolish risks sometimes win
04:20
medals but more often than not you lose
04:23
a limb and I or even your life you have
04:28
to be smart in war that only comes with
04:33
experience so who should fight wars wise
04:36
old men no it'll be you young men fight
04:43
wars cadet maybe not come again see just
04:50
like how the Second World War was light
04:52
years ahead of the first world war wars
04:54
today are too soon technology you might
04:58
just remove humans off the battlefield
04:59
altogether
05:01
[Music]
05:16
I forget our target that night I think
05:21
our target was a mercy burger I know I
05:24
we find her here or lipstick and we
05:26
adopt our bombs it was about a half an
05:29
hour after we were shot down it happened
05:32
very quick and I was just lucky I really
05:34
shouldn't have got out really because I
05:35
was supposed to go at the front end of
05:37
the aircraft and the bomb aimer and the
05:40
engineer was supposed to go ahead of me
05:42
but they couldn't get the darn hatch
05:45
open so I said to myself well I not want
05:47
to get out that way so I went and back
05:49
and stood behind the pilot one of the
05:51
windows raped there about that size just
05:55
blew open I pulled myself up jumped out
05:58
I pull the parachute and the first thing
06:00
and always floating in the air in about
06:02
20,000 feet the parachute worked
06:04
perfectly first thing it always floating
06:07
at the neck
06:08
my first impression was I was going up
06:10
but gradual I could see I was going down
06:12
and I was a bit concerned because I
06:15
could hear the fighter plane still
06:16
flying around I thought maybe maybe to
06:18
give me a bird but he didn't he lured me
06:20
I think then I landed in trees and they
06:24
captured me and so they took me to a
06:27
farmer's house a very nice farmer this
06:31
farmer luckily he speak English but he
06:34
was so so nice I fell to talk to and
06:39
what I wanted to give my watch and my
06:41
and my wallet and president what the
06:45
Germans again and uni said Oh noises I
06:48
can't take that he says if I took that
06:49
and the Gestapo come in there and found
06:52
that on me he says he wouldn't ask any
06:54
questions he said they just shoot me he
06:56
was scared of the Gestapo so scared but
06:59
anyway he was very nice to me and as
07:01
faculty he says what you need is a drink
07:04
of snaps says I said you think so yeah
07:07
so you might got a bottle of snaps and
07:09
he handed me that I need never drank
07:13
nasty more oh I took oh I took myself I
07:16
said that's too strong so oh no he took
07:19
when he drank it himself
07:20
the next morning the vocal Burgermeister
07:24
came and took me and they took me to
07:26
jail but first before they went to jail
07:28
they took me to where the plane had
07:31
crashed and they told me then that all
07:32
the other six guys were dead they put
07:36
two guards on me and took me to the
07:38
railway station at Frankfurt and from
07:41
there I was going to be interrogation
07:42
Center at do leg lifts and when we were
07:46
in the railway station with an air raid
07:48
on and of course all the people running
07:51
in and going to the air-raid shelter and
07:52
we had to go down tips to get to the
07:54
shelter and as we were born going in the
07:57
people coming in they could see me and I
07:59
could tell by the look on their face
08:00
that they were too half they they looked
08:02
at me in the zotero figure you know of
08:04
course some of these people I can see
08:06
their point they a lot of them had been
08:07
bombed before and maybe lost relatives
08:09
things and they wouldn't be thinking too
08:11
highly of me so what they took these two
08:13
guards did they put me in the corn they
08:15
stood in front of me so the people
08:16
couldn't see see me as they went down
08:19
the steps and we got out of there
08:21
without incidents and when the very air
08:23
raid was over we got on a small train I
08:26
think and went to the interrogation
08:28
center which was very close to a frank
08:30
first it was one young German officer he
08:34
spoke very good English he got very
08:36
upset he
08:37
Martis threatened me but the Geneva
08:39
Convention said that all we need to tell
08:41
him was I named our number now rang and
08:44
that's all I told him he stuck to that
08:46
but I could tell by the way he was
08:49
talking he knew a lot more about our
08:52
squadron then maybe I thought I knew
08:54
myself
08:55
the food was was terrible but you must
09:00
remember that time Germany was had no
09:02
food they were weighed down the
09:04
rock-bottom even the you know the
09:06
general public was starving too when
09:10
you're hungry you'll eat anything I
09:12
remember once on
09:15
the rest of March I got into this
09:18
farmhouse I don't know how I did but I
09:20
got and there was a trough there and the
09:23
pigs were eating this stuff I looked at
09:25
it pick it up and left pretty good sign
09:28
I thought they'd have some so I ate
09:29
something that's pretty good of course I
09:32
have a nature of that rather being you
09:35
looking on the bright side I'm you know
09:38
receiving humor of things and maybe
09:41
that's what got me to the war I don't
09:43
know
09:46
I don't get it how can anyone keep
09:50
positive while fighting in a war let me
09:53
see if I can explain it to you
09:55
we go through different health all the
09:58
time in war and when an act of kindness
10:02
from fellow soldier civilian or even the
10:06
enemy happens it reminds us that we're
10:09
all human still capable of compassion
10:12
and that's something positive don't you
10:15
think I think the most positive thing
10:18
would be not to kill one another enough
10:21
to do in war
10:23
[Music]
10:40
I'd say about the third year into the
10:44
war when we started to feel the pins you
10:47
go to the soup kitchen you get a
10:49
spoonful of of mostly soup kind of if
10:55
you ever seen a rotten potato try to eat
10:58
that yeah and that was the soup made of
11:01
wheat flour if you have a senior for
11:04
this if it is years old or a couple of
11:06
years old maggots will form in there and
11:09
I notice it and this is what they made
11:11
porous out so I had a goldfish and I was
11:16
eating on the kitchen table and the kids
11:18
hey really eating anything the theorems
11:23
have set off under on the bridges to
11:27
prevent people from going to the
11:28
pharmacy so they let people go wild
11:30
now many cultures in the beginning
11:32
anyway they came back with the bicycle
11:35
bags full of you know Miller potatoes at
11:39
areas and festivals in before the three
11:41
about they were stopping them on the
11:44
bridges they take the food drop it over
11:54
the bridge in the world know you were
11:56
starving
11:58
now just ever need
12:02
my mother was about 230 pounds and war
12:05
stars it was 98 pounds when the war
12:09
finished and it would have been a matter
12:12
of a week 14 days that she wouldn't have
12:15
made it
12:19
what we do to each other times of war is
12:22
disgusting to start people want no part
12:25
of the war is just cruel
12:28
yeah it's cruel horrible things happen
12:32
in war all the time they bomb us you
12:35
bomb them they sink our ships we think
12:39
there's kill our soldiers kill there's
12:42
you shoot down our plane and shoot down
12:44
there and I don't get it get it
12:47
the vicious circle yeah yeah one that
12:52
goes around and around
12:55
[Music]
13:06
you
13:11
one thing I did do that quite proud of
13:13
it too and I really makes me feel good
13:15
when I think of it we went over and the
13:17
Dutch were starving
13:19
we took food over and dropped it to them
13:21
the Germans had said that they wouldn't
13:24
send up any fighters or anything they
13:28
allowed us to go in and drop the food
13:31
and as we saw through over Rotterdam
13:34
coming to the drop zone the hyundai
13:38
hundreds of people all lined up and they
13:41
were waving at us we dropped our food
13:43
and wiggled our wings and set sail for
13:49
home
13:50
so I think they really appreciated that
13:54
it cannot take long for people to catch
13:57
on the big apartment builders is there
14:00
on the roof and I'm baby
14:02
the nice parts life you know the if you
14:08
see the Lancaster airplane it's at the
14:12
tail and see those guns and he was
14:19
waving with his comes double gun
14:23
[Music]
14:26
the Dutch people were wonderful they
14:29
would come up to you on the streets of
14:31
course we were Berets and everything we
14:32
had or maybe they knew who we where
14:34
they'd come up and give you a hug kiss
14:38
you and everything else makes me cry you
14:42
think about it anyway you'd gone to a
14:48
restaurant sometimes and they wouldn't
14:49
even charge you wonderful people and
14:56
they really right the Canadians so even
15:04
in war bitter enemies can do the right
15:06
thing do something good for each other
15:08
yeah but usually it comes at a cost
15:11
should it be that way doing something
15:14
good should come with no strings
15:15
attached what world do you live in
15:18
eventually everything comes at a cost in
15:21
this life
15:22
[Music]
15:36
I received a first letter from my mother
15:42
everything is fine except your father
15:45
and my youngest brother disappeared
15:50
later on I found out that there were
15:54
killed in Auschwitz concentration camp
15:58
we got to a place called Nelson there
16:02
was a German concentration camp we went
16:06
into this concentration camp as we were
16:08
allowed to do and they to make us safe
16:14
in there because it was typhus in the
16:17
camp they sprayed us with a white powder
16:23
which turned out to be DDT and they put
16:28
it down her clothes they put it in her
16:30
hair they put it all over us and so on
16:32
what we saw in there was very traumatic
16:38
the people mostly Jewish buzzers that
16:44
have been in there were thin thin people
16:47
dying simply walking along and just fall
16:51
over but we saw these boats there
16:58
and I never forgot that never I hated
17:03
the Germans I hated with an intensity I
17:09
didn't know about what happened
17:12
I really didn't I have never seen
17:16
anybody doing something bad like that I
17:19
couldn't imagine it but then of course I
17:23
had to realize that is the truth they
17:26
showed us the pictures and it is
17:31
terrible it should never have happened
17:33
and I cannot understand who's doing that
17:38
it's horrible it's horrible
17:41
when I got home when I found my daughter
17:44
was doing family tracing the family tree
17:48
in front back then what does she find
17:51
out and more German in reason than
17:56
British English your Scotch or French
18:02
big joke
18:07
we're all cut from the same cloth how
18:09
can fellow human beings have so little
18:11
regard for life
18:12
how can someone send people into a gas
18:15
chamber call it take to change things
18:18
I'm just a pawn in this war Andy I don't
18:21
know a miracle you tell me
18:28
[Music]
18:43
oh we were celebrating here when we that
18:49
evening everybody was so happy the
18:55
civilians were rejoicing they're hoping
18:58
that the Russians would be over and they
19:00
had sucked living again everybody was
19:04
excited yeah it was excitement in the
19:06
air there was over here too and you know
19:09
people in Montreal it's crazy
19:12
the church is wrong seldom met it was at
19:17
the end of our being a ways that mostly
19:21
meant to us yeah Ann Arbor is it a part
19:27
of the gander
19:30
I don't recall even knowing the war was
19:34
over it's over definitely was no great
19:39
celebration because we were still doing
19:43
shift work the planes were still coming
19:46
and going the people in Ottawa all
19:50
congregated downtown for a huge rally
19:55
celebrating the end of the war there was
19:58
it was packed downtown guys were
20:02
drinking beer the guys in the uniform
20:05
and all this and the women were kissing
20:07
the guys in the uniform and all this
20:09
kind of nonsense and of course all the
20:12
beer parlors and not were loaded you
20:16
know and it went on all night long yeah
20:20
it was an awful lot of hangovers the
20:22
next day so I'm alone in this business
20:25
and hot Omo and his fieid a yeah I can
20:30
still remember that to this day
20:32
I love taking very sorry oh he's stuck
20:37
in this business and no nobody there but
20:40
me oh I just went to bed I think was
20:46
still celebrating a lot of dancing
20:48
street dancing went all over that lasted
20:51
a couple of weeks actually the Canadian
20:53
soldiers
20:54
and it's all in this beat squares and
20:57
divide out to the bands and playing out
20:59
that signs all for a long time all light
21:01
remembers it there's no flying oh now
21:05
what do I do
21:06
there's no flag holy crow
21:11
[Music]
21:30
you
21:48
you
22:21
[Music]
22:59
you

Lesson Plans: Episode 5

Humanity in War

In this wrap-up episode, veterans describe coming home what their lives were like after the war. In addition, Cadet Andy and Captain Johnny C discuss the war’s consequences. Student participants also talk about what working on the Legacy Project has meant to them. Through their interviews with RCAF veterans, they describe gaining a greater understanding of the realities of war in the air, and its consequences on the ground — from the home front to Europe and Asia. As they filmed and assembled the footage into the six full-length episodes of the Legacy Project, the students gained a better understanding of what the men and women had both suffered and accomplished, and were proud to be able to connect with the Greatest Generation.

00:12
as a young fella you you're 20 years or
00:16
21 years old you just left your mother
00:20
who told you what to do wipe your nose
00:23
or whatever else then you got told
00:26
though where to go and will wipe your
00:29
nose by these corporals sergeants and so
00:31
on you're in the army you're told what
00:35
to do all the time everywhere the war
00:37
ended now we're not going to be told
00:40
what to do it now what now what happens
00:44
down
00:47
[Music]
01:17
the Second World War ended on September
01:20
2nd 1945 it had lasted six years and one
01:25
day during the conflict approximately
01:28
two hundred and thirty three thousand
01:30
men more than seventeen thousand women
01:32
served in the Royal Canadian Air Force
01:34
with more than 17,000 losing their lives
01:37
at war's end Canada laid claim to the
01:42
world's fourth largest Air Force
01:45
[Music]
02:01
I'm very upset because I thought I
02:04
thought my number was due because
02:07
somebody else's number came up and my I
02:10
had a lower number so I went to the
02:13
sergeant I said they didn't call my
02:16
number he said so what whatever he said
02:19
and I said well can you tell me he says
02:22
what's your number like are two six six
02:24
oh five four close the paper and ESA's
02:28
it's not honor I said well when am I
02:32
going haven't any idea we'll call you so
02:36
that was it nobody knew when you were
02:39
going so when I did here I was told that
02:42
I would more than likely not go home
02:45
till spring so I spent good part of a
02:50
year on the continent working at
02:53
headquarters and waiting to go home
02:55
which was you know the war was over I
02:59
had no patience none of us had patience
03:01
you know the question was well what do
03:05
we do now the station commander wanted
03:11
to keep control over that's over up in
03:14
case we didn't go too well and so on in
03:16
the partying of it so he organized
03:19
sports days I kept that kept us busy you
03:23
know to an occupied and so on of this
03:25
smart move after the war was over in
03:29
Europe they had thousands of us in
03:33
England but they didn't know what to do
03:36
with so they had holding units when I
03:40
was there about two weeks or so I was
03:43
told that I was now the new stage
03:47
electrician for an RCA F show that was
03:52
traveling in Europe and everything else
03:55
I had the best six months of my Air
03:59
Force career right there
04:01
we felt important you know
04:06
everybody knew there was a a show in
04:09
town and they were on a player
04:11
performance tonight it was a variety
04:15
show and we did like the opening number
04:18
would sort of like a tassel team we did
04:21
one where we dressed up like cowboys
04:23
cowgirls
04:24
yeah we're just different types of
04:26
dancing
04:27
this was our opening number and we had
04:31
these jackets on that Shawn in the dark
04:33
it was black see the first show was
04:35
black outs and we were all clear so that
04:38
we had this costume on in this jacket
04:40
and some real all clear and the curtains
04:43
open and we're just in these Teddy's in
04:45
the black stopping
04:47
well the whistles and the hoots in the
04:50
house were so loud that we couldn't hear
04:54
the music so they changed the costume
04:57
ship oh yes I wouldn't afraid it friend
05:03
and it was the best time there was and
05:06
we were treated so well you don't you
05:09
hear of girls joining up into the armed
05:12
forces their parents wouldn't let them
05:14
go because they figure the a lot of
05:16
hanky-panky or whatever they thought was
05:19
going on nothing like that at all
05:21
[Music]
05:25
where the props no propellers jet
05:29
fighter
05:30
I knew they were testing towards the end
05:33
the war no propellers and what will they
05:37
think of next
05:37
no pilots that'll be the day good to be
05:42
back home Johnny
05:44
it's not easy I'll tell you that took a
05:48
while waiting and waiting and then more
05:51
waiting
05:51
lots of blanket drilled in between
05:53
blanket trills maps and naps they didn't
05:59
discharge me when they did that was
06:00
gonna snatch up my old length fly back
06:02
to Canada on my own
06:03
can't wait to get home oh could you
06:06
couldn't wait to see my girl
06:08
mom my paw brothers and sisters
06:12
collective but what
06:18
I think I'm gonna miss this your old
06:21
crew right yeah then for sure but
06:27
something about the fighting about
06:31
cheating death rush of it oh I'm gonna
06:38
miss that but now you have your whole
06:41
life ahead of you that's what I'm scared
06:44
of Andy seems a lot scarier than when
06:48
I'm leaving behind wonder why that is
06:53
[Music]
07:08
okay calm down to a movie they were glad
07:11
to be home the next morning we arrived
07:14
at Central Station in Montreal and my
07:17
whole family was there my mother my
07:19
father my sisters when I was coming home
07:24
my god what a joy it was a moment that
07:27
we'll never forget
07:29
anyone like all noble Irish I make well
07:32
it was nice at home it was kind of a
07:33
letdown because the excitement was over
07:36
war is over when we landed in Canada
07:40
they had a big band playing and all that
07:42
we all got off and the people were all
07:46
there at new Brenner Nova Scotia and
07:50
there was a there was a train on the
07:53
tracks right there and so there was a
07:56
one of the guys that look after each
07:59
cabin or what if you want to call it
08:01
could there would be about 20 guys on
08:04
that one section we'd all have a single
08:08
single seat when we went overseas there
08:10
would be three guys in that seat and you
08:13
had no papers here we got where you're
08:15
from Toronto here's the Toronto paper
08:17
you know and so they'd say when it came
08:21
time went to sleep at night those things
08:24
made into a bed for us so he could sleep
08:27
he would say go down to the end of the
08:30
room and have a smoke you can get a beer
08:32
down there and I'll make her your beds
08:35
and I said well we can make our beds
08:37
there's no no no no no that's my job he
08:39
was an elderly man so he made the beds
08:41
he says I want you to leave your shoes
08:44
out here so I can shine them for you I
08:46
say you joking nobody ever shine Isis I
08:49
want you to do that
08:51
he says look at me I never went to the
08:54
war I want to do something for you guys
08:56
I could cry when I hear things like that
08:59
anyways we would have we would go to a
09:03
special cabin or train for fur to eat
09:07
that never happened before they'd say
09:10
what do you want three four eggs six
09:12
eggs how many you want how do you want
09:14
them cook you know and the cook could
09:16
say it's okay he wants them done this
09:18
way just slightly over this is okay how
09:20
about the bake at how many
09:22
Achan do you want you do you like it
09:24
this way that way and toast oh he knows
09:27
how to make and they they just you'd you
09:30
know or does it be running down your
09:32
cheek you just say my god you know like
09:34
but that was the war was over we were
09:38
home and you know we were saying TC
09:41
never had that we never had milk never
09:43
had butter never had you know jam or
09:47
anything like that so landing home was
09:51
just it was home we knew it
09:55
getting home knows it was kind of
09:58
interesting because I had phone mum from
10:02
tomorrow and I said oh I think I can
10:05
probably make the the on sound or the
10:09
Alfred train goes up from from drama
10:12
when it was due to arrive the whole
10:16
village was out to to greet me and of
10:21
course somehow I couldn't make that that
10:25
train and I didn't fall but a hitchhiked
10:29
up from na Toronto
10:32
it was the day after when I got up there
10:36
and our play said along Lane the country
10:42
with Lane you know he drove me up the
10:44
land and and stopped and I got out and
10:49
mumbles are on the porch waiting food it
10:53
was great
10:59
settling into home life heading back to
11:02
the old routine a everyone has been
11:05
great I first got home there were lots
11:07
of Pat's on the back you know parade for
11:10
those of us who fought free drinks that
11:13
sort of thing but life goes on
11:17
and some of the vets I met they have
11:21
their whole life's mapped out for them
11:22
all types of government assistance to
11:25
help them out
11:28
but to tell you the truth there Andy
11:34
kind of in the soup come flying through
11:41
a dense fog all the time
11:45
you
11:49
jumpy when it comes to loud noises on
11:55
edge all the time
11:58
don't sleep well
12:02
so we're over there so wouldn't have to
12:06
think about it all the time
12:10
just want to fly missions that's what
12:17
I'm good at flying missions that's what
12:19
I do
12:20
did Johnny that's what you did you know
12:24
you might have what they call PTSD
12:28
Kiki what post-traumatic stress disorder
12:31
those are some fancy $5 words you're
12:33
spitting out there Andy in English PTSD
12:37
is a mental disorder some veterans get
12:39
fighting in wars no no I'm not a nutcase
12:50
not what I'm say it can be controlled
12:52
not we're done talking about it I'll be
12:59
I'm fine don't you tell anyone you hear
13:04
me
13:07
[Music]
13:21
I went to law school they stayed for a
13:26
while but I could see after I couldn't
13:28
settle down I guess my mind was
13:30
someplace else so I I left there and and
13:32
started to work and finally I worked for
13:35
Blue Cross and then that eventually
13:37
became OHIP and I set my working days
13:40
without him so I went right back to
13:43
University and he'll they the Army's
13:46
supported my wife and beef is until they
13:49
graduated so walked into the bail office
13:52
in Montreal big recruiting uh played
13:55
inside the door and I said went over the
13:59
little girl my said to Noah thinking
14:01
applying for a position she said what
14:03
are your qualifications I said well just
14:06
the right words I said I'll just got my
14:08
diploma from McGill and before that I
14:12
was in the Air Force in radar she said
14:15
is that and to do with Wireless I said
14:18
it's completely wireless
14:19
she's what we're looking for people with
14:21
a university degree who have experience
14:24
in wireless so she's would you wait a
14:27
minute and so she went and got her boss
14:29
and he took me up to the big loss of the
14:31
partners they wanted me to go into and
14:33
he said can you start tomorrow and I
14:36
said well maybe next week and so I
14:38
started the following Monday and the 36
14:41
years later as a thank you Raider you
14:43
got me in the door
14:44
I thought Morse code to the coats and a
14:49
time when women were not allowed into
14:52
the Scout Troop up but because of the
14:56
necessity for the boys to learn ours
14:59
code I was permitted into the troop got
15:05
home
15:08
one of the two University and graduated
15:12
as a civil engineer and then right
15:16
straight into work I had been thinking
15:19
of going to visit cheetah and that see
15:22
if everything might have something that
15:24
I could do in the very day that I was
15:28
planning to see them I got a call from
15:30
from this general saying good how would
15:34
you like to go to Burma I thought about
15:37
it a long time one second difficut said
15:41
yes I want to be Havilland and 1953 I
15:47
think it was 53 and I was there and so
15:54
until I went to join Ken Molson who was
15:59
a greater and national aviation museum
16:03
it was a wonderful time that I first
16:07
realized that this is what I wanted to
16:09
do helped to preserve airplanes and in
16:15
my own time paint what I wish to paint
16:19
which was aviation scenes of historic
16:24
events in particular guess what I'm
16:28
flying again
16:28
that's great where with who I'm flying a
16:32
butcher for a hunting and fishing lodge
16:34
house sounds about right
16:36
yeah I'm taking rich muckety-mucks up
16:39
north so they can bag there or a moose
16:42
and put it stuff dead on their
16:44
mantelpiece and brag about it over
16:45
whiskey and cigars sounds gross which
16:49
part stuffed animal heck part 4 we to
16:52
judge I'm just glad I found something so
16:56
many of them were over there haven't
16:59
some of them were real war heroes chest
17:02
full of medals
17:05
now forgotten
17:25
would you be Legare jete because when
17:28
the war started in yemeni i was at the
17:30
kids in the ninth grade the war ended I
17:34
was a lieutenant in the Air Force full
17:37
grown man even if I was only 20 years
17:39
old maybe when I looked around me I
17:43
thought I was pretty smart and pretty
17:46
lucky bhishan she had seen London and
17:50
Paris and and Algiers and things like
17:54
that so I was pretty full of myself when
17:58
I came back it wasn't hard to get me to
18:00
talk about what I'd seen I don't like
18:04
talking but the war is such a killing
18:08
them someone who went on and that was
18:12
our job we did it and and there was no
18:16
question we couldn't argue about it we
18:19
just did it but the the other parts of
18:23
playing part it was great and and I told
18:28
everybody about that but I think it's
18:31
time was on
18:33
people will forget I think after the war
18:36
was over the first world war is over
18:38
saying the 20 people forgot that like
18:41
they like we have a tendency to forget
18:43
our last war here the other thing is
18:47
things are moving much faster than they
18:49
were 20 years ago or 40 years ago and
18:52
people are much much much busier doing
18:56
other things well it's been said and as
19:01
true history is 30 seconds ago I want
19:05
people to always remember that the
19:10
historical aspect of what they do and
19:14
what other people do is important to
19:17
preserve when you think of it the German
19:22
people are human too
19:24
and it wasn't the German people who
19:29
started the war it was their leaders
19:34
help they could have more land or create
19:42
a greater presence in the world but you
19:48
meet German people now and it just
19:52
assignments you or I I work with the
19:56
left of the Senior Center
19:58
they're great now that you're back and
20:04
working what do you miss most about the
20:07
war
20:09
I miss my crew the rest is fading with
20:15
my crew we had some good time both
20:20
shapes too we try to keep in touch but I
20:24
live up north and there all over the
20:27
country it's not the thing probably will
20:32
never be no probably won't best to put
20:37
that row behind us and move on something
20:42
something worth repeating that's not up
20:46
to me Andy but who better to tell others
20:49
why we should not have more than
20:50
veterans you think anyone will listen
20:58
[Music]
21:12
all really doesn't solve anything in the
21:15
in the final analysis just a lot of
21:17
people have their lives ruined and the
21:20
elder kills and name and I think there
21:26
should be more emphasis on peace the
21:28
whole philosophy should be that no war
21:31
is bad and you have to there's no doubt
21:35
that our war had to be fought as Hitler
21:40
and also Nene we're going to take over
21:42
the world of it and they nearly did but
21:45
there is a point where you should be
21:48
able to stop that ahead of time I don't
21:50
know what it is well love each other
21:56
love each other I think it would spread
21:58
because that solves everything
22:00
love sex everything but that's not like
22:06
me possible so I don't think that that's
22:10
going to happen I really like this that
22:14
we have differences but if we can only
22:21
look at the other person's point of view
22:25
maybe would we would avoid a lot of
22:30
conflict and heartache it's very
22:35
difficult to constantly feel you are the
22:41
only one who knows what's right just
22:48
realize but listen to them and then
22:55
judge whether you were right or whether
23:00
the other person might have a tiny bit
23:04
of knowledge - it would be nice to see
23:09
the world become peaceful everybody
23:14
started getting along with one another
23:16
instead of having to fight with one
23:18
another fight for peace I think that's
23:23
the only thing war is a terrible thing
23:24
and as I said we've we launched
23:28
thousands well we've lost millions
23:31
altogether during the war it but it's
23:34
terrible and I would do everything to
23:38
avoid it somebody who wants to conquer
23:44
somebody and do it by you can try to
23:47
negotiate it and you can threaten what
23:52
if they don't stop you gotta stop it and
23:57
they should be prepared never be not
24:01
prepared
24:04
and keep up your your army your Air
24:09
Force
24:11
your Navy as much as I think I can say
24:16
[Music]
24:18
you've got to be able to fight back
24:22
you've got to be able to fight I thought
24:27
well let's go back and live happily ever
24:31
after
24:31
I really did when I got home I just
24:34
that's done you know I've been to a war
24:37
it's terrible whatever whatever whatever
24:39
but it's over but we've had a war ever
24:43
since
24:44
[Music]
24:47
I hate it
24:50
[Music]
24:54
you know Andy experience teaches you a
24:58
lot of things in life my only hope is
25:01
that future generations will see what we
25:03
did in this war sacrificing
25:06
accomplishments and they may learn
25:09
something from me or else be all for
25:13
naught that would be a shame I believe
25:17
they will Johnny have a good deal that's
25:26
good
25:31
[Music]
25:35
you
25:45
you
25:51
but I would say to the veterans that I
25:53
went through World War two I would say
25:56
you know you guys are awesome to be able
25:57
to you know just drop everything because
26:00
most of these people are high school
26:02
students you know there were nineteen
26:03
there were seventeen when they went off
26:05
to be able to you know say goodbye to
26:07
your family to be able to pack up and go
26:10
fight this war for your country I think
26:12
that it's something that's really cool
26:14
because nowadays a lot of people don't
26:17
really stand up for themselves let alone
26:19
a whole country and for them to be able
26:22
to do that and you know either survive
26:25
or die in the battle that is amazing
26:28
that they have this tale to tell
26:30
so leave it data and I did am gamo
26:33
Denny's veterans make the second world
26:35
war more authentic closer to people
26:37
David I'm a crumb me peanuts don't thank
26:41
you these pilots have seen a bomb bay
26:43
door open above him and risked having 30
26:45
bombs drop on them they didn't do
26:47
something they've been shot at I've had
26:50
to parachute down to survive when the
26:52
rest of their crew died may be fulfilled
26:54
on whenever I should pool I said to
26:57
leave that as honest as Marci what
27:00
happened during the Second World War is
27:01
intense
27:02
yeah and I feel more connected to it now
27:04
as she with math listen to mr. clearly
27:08
knows interview - you're like I know him
27:10
now I guys I've never met the guy before
27:14
but I feel as if I know him it's kind of
27:17
amazing these guys and girls have some
27:21
great stories behind them that need to
27:24
be total need to be put on record and
27:27
it'll be a complete change they just got
27:29
lost I don't know it's just something I
27:32
find like fascinating just hearing all
27:33
their stories you know like didn't watch
27:35
a movie or read a book but when you
27:38
actually hear from someone who's
27:40
experienced it it's totally different
27:43
they are only veteran story they're not
27:46
some guy who read about these things in
27:49
a book these people have lived through
27:51
it it's real it's honest when they speak
27:54
you can feel the emotion in their voices
27:57
and in their eyes this is their actual
28:00
life
28:01
it's important for younger generations
28:03
to never forget what older generations
28:06
did for us because we wouldn't be where
28:08
we are and it's just important to know
28:12
that where it's not really a good thing
28:13
and a lot of people died and I hope it
28:16
doesn't happen again
28:17
once hearing about all the stories from
28:20
the actual people that lived through it
28:22
it hits a lot harder and it makes you
28:25
care a lot more about what happened as I
28:28
remember in high school is kind of you
28:30
know basic learned learn the dates learn
28:32
the location study for your exam that
28:34
was pretty much it then just to sit
28:37
there and to listen to everything that
28:39
they have to say you know you get
28:40
attached to these people to use you know
28:43
these spiders even though you know some
28:46
of them probably weren't you know
28:48
they're just nurses or you know they're
28:51
fighter pilots or just like the
28:53
navigators each one of them has played
28:55
an important role in our history to be
28:58
able to make an emotional connection
28:59
with the person to tell future
29:02
generations I think that is a really
29:04
cool thing and that you know I'm really
29:06
thankful that they were there the fit
29:08
justic version aerosol so you have two
29:11
generations facing each other on one
29:13
side a generation that lived through
29:15
bombings and had to go to war on the
29:18
other side a generation that's holding
29:20
an iphone has everything at its finger
29:22
glass the spouse kid on the book web I
29:26
think we have a lot to learn from these
29:27
men and women we need to take the time
29:29
to give them a voice you need to
29:31
remember them
29:35
we need to pay attention to what they're
29:37
telling us a lot of veterans want to
29:39
pass on what they know we're losing more
29:41
and more of them as time goes on like
29:44
our last chance to hear them tell their
29:45
stories
29:46
good come on out they'll diffuse all
29:48
fears become the delegates outside very
29:51
young people need to understand the past
29:53
in order to better understand what's
29:55
going on today nut Janice
29:57
black compound the possible mute
30:00
compound responsibility just knowing
30:03
about what you've sort of did what the
30:05
war was about why it happened would help
30:09
educate the younger generation against
30:13
having them happen again history
30:15
something that should be remembered and
30:18
never forgotten they were young as we
30:24
are young they served giving freely of
30:27
themselves to them we pledged omit the
30:33
winds of time to carry their torch and
30:36
never forget we will remember them we
30:42
will remember them
30:45
[Music]
32:19
you
32:35
you

This original documentary film series – created by Canadian film students and the Canada Aviation and Space Museum – showcases powerful, personal accounts of the Second World War through the lens of aviation. Through six episodes, The Legacy Series shares the captivating stories of Canadian veterans — airmen and women who served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Air Force, Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, and the Polish Air Force — as well as former European civilians. The Legacy Series bridges the generational divide between veterans and youth, bringing the stories of our country’s history to life for today’s students.

00:00
[Music]
00:18
they asked me if I wanted to go and
00:21
fighter command our bomber command and
00:25
he said oh but of course you know
00:27
Fighter Command there's six months
00:29
waiting for six months at twenty years
00:33
old you don't wonder he's six months
00:40
usually if he got coned with
00:42
searchlights yeah you didn't get out of
00:45
the cone and that was the end of you
00:47
you were completely blinded we tried
00:50
everything to get out of the cone we'd
00:51
all we climbed when we slip the air in
00:54
there I worked at a factory in Amherst
00:58
and they built the Avro Hanson
01:01
I'd say about the third year into the
01:04
war when we started to feel the pins you
01:07
go to the soup kitchen you got a
01:09
spoonful of mostly soup if you ever seen
01:12
a rotten potato try to eat that
01:19
thank you are approaching the target
01:23
bomb aimer pretty well takes over
01:27
control of the aircraft
01:30
he's lying down on his stomach tells the
01:33
pilot to toll that left little bit right
01:37
finally he says steady when you first
01:40
get overseas if you go down to
01:43
Bournemouth and that's a great place for
01:46
a young guy dance halls and pubs just to
01:53
sit there and to listen to everything
01:55
that they have to say you know you get
01:56
attached to these people each one of
01:58
them has played an important role in our
02:00
history to be able to make an emotional
02:02
connection with the person to tell
02:05
future generations that is a really cool
02:07
thing you have two generations facing
02:09
each other on one side a generation that
02:12
lived through bombings and had to go to
02:13
war on the other side a generation
02:16
that's holding an iPhone has everything
02:18
at its fingertips I think we have a lot
02:21
to learn from these men and women we
02:22
need to pay attention to what they're
02:23
telling us
02:26
to them we pledge to carry their torch
02:29
and never forget we will remember them
02:35
[Music]
02:45
you

 

 

At twenty years old, Jim Eddy, joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. He trained in the BCATP and became a navigator of a Lancaster. After several bombing raids, his plane was shot down along with his crew over Germany. Mr Eddy was the sole survivor, he became a prisoner of war. This full interview of Mr Jim Eddy, is just one of the great personal accounts shared by the veterans and civilians who participated in the Legacy Series.

To learn more visit: https://ingeniumcanada.org/education/the-legacy-series

00:00
well my name is Jim Eddie I was a
00:02
navigator on four one nine squadron who
00:04
were flying Lancaster's we had a crew of
00:07
seven and we did 15 trips and we were
00:12
shot down I was the only one that
00:17
escaped fun burning playing the other
00:20
guys the other six guys were killed it's
00:23
kind of sad but anyway I was taking a
00:27
prisoner and became a prisoner of war
00:30
and was liberated when the war ended I
00:34
was only in prison yeah about five
00:37
months just a regular bombing missions I
00:41
didn't get there till late in 44 I think
00:47
it was and we bombed kiplyn it some I
00:51
forget some of the targets I was shot
00:53
down on my on my 15th trip but we had
00:57
bombed in the Ruhr and various places in
01:02
Germany and it was a Dorf and we were
01:06
quite successful until we got shot down
01:08
that is what was your inspiration
01:11
blowing air force as opposed well well
01:19
at that time in 1940 I was 20 years old
01:23
so I knew I was going to have to go in
01:25
something and the Air Force was the
01:27
thing to go in because that was the the
01:29
preferred service as far as young people
01:33
are concerned it was very glamorous to
01:35
fly and and I tried to get in but my I
01:39
didn't have I had bad eyesight so I
01:44
couldn't get in the Air Force right away
01:46
but then they brought the latter part of
01:49
41 early 42 they brought out a ruling
01:52
that people whose eyes weren't 100%
01:54
could get in and they would supply them
01:56
with goggles so they could fly so I got
01:59
in then in 42 and I started out as a to
02:04
be a pilot but I was washed out on
02:06
Flying Tiger Moths and strange enough I
02:10
lived in fort with him and that's where
02:11
we did our training
02:12
and I was washed out on my 60 hour check
02:15
and the the guy that washed me out he
02:21
was named I guess he was the senior
02:25
flying officer on the station he said
02:28
Jim he says oh let's check Vaughn but he
02:30
says you might be better doing another
02:33
part of the air crew so he I became a
02:35
navigator and from there I went back to
02:38
parties the Prairie and from there I
02:40
went to no I went back to Brandon and
02:42
then departed the Prairie where I did my
02:44
navigation course it took six months and
02:47
I graduated out of part of 43 and then I
02:50
went overseas well so you were 21 by
02:54
then or 20 still 20 I was 20 22 by then
03:00
yeah 22 22 you
03:01
Wow so when you arrived in in England
03:05
how was that just arriving in the new
03:08
country young man yeah
03:12
squadron it was great the English people
03:18
welcomed people from can't especially if
03:21
their Air Force we we got a terrific
03:23
welcome they were glad to see us and
03:25
made us most unwelcome and we went to
03:27
all the only Air Force went to
03:30
Bournemouth and that was the holding
03:31
station and that's where we went first
03:34
and from there on we went to various
03:37
stations in various phases of the
03:39
training and gradually we worked our way
03:44
to Bournemouth is is in southern agree
03:47
what Bradley worked it our way north
03:49
until I ended up in Mendelson st. George
03:53
which is just outside of Darlington in
03:56
Yorkshire and the the station we got on
04:00
was for 1/9 squadron and they were
04:03
flying Lancaster's so I became a
04:07
navigator on a Lancaster the crew
04:12
becomes very young very much I don't
04:18
know how to describe it we stick
04:21
together we of course we we rely on each
04:23
other when we're flying because if one
04:25
guy doesn't do it
04:26
right that is going to reflect on the
04:28
others but generally speaking we we
04:33
mixed together very well
04:36
my pilot was a guy named ed Tedford the
04:40
bomber here was a guy named Doug Spencer
04:42
and we had the only English guy on the
04:45
crew was the flight engineer he was from
04:49
Wales I think because at that time
04:52
Canada wasn't producing flight engineers
04:54
so we had to rely on the English
04:56
engineers and we had to bombers one from
04:58
one was from BC and the other was from
05:01
and wireless operator was from Toronto
05:06
and the bomb hero is from Ontario but we
05:11
yeah we seemed to meld together very
05:13
well
05:13
as a crew you know we stuck together so
05:17
how does the Lancaster flies it allowed
05:20
oh yeah
05:23
have you ever heard the engines I've
05:26
heard them from the ground
05:27
thunderous I'm wondering can you
05:29
describe how it feels to be in it but
05:31
you don't notice as much in the air
05:33
really but on the ground you can really
05:36
feel it and it was a very big airplane
05:42
you you know at the time when I was
05:44
flying I didn't think it was big but
05:46
I've gone to the Hamilton them Museum
05:48
they have one over there I realized how
05:53
big the Lancaster was I forget our
06:00
target that night I think our target was
06:02
a mercy burger
06:04
an oil refinery near or a leipzig and we
06:07
dropped our bombs it was about a half an
06:10
hour afterwards we were shot down I
06:12
think an airplane come underneath us and
06:15
give us a burst and got the engines on
06:17
fire and that was it
06:18
and I always thought that they the
06:21
German airplane had facilities of two to
06:26
zero in on our radar that and that's how
06:30
they got there but then I was talking to
06:32
a fellow who was flying spassky toes in
06:36
he flew in the in the
06:40
bomber group and he says it wasn't that
06:43
he says there was a flame coming out of
06:45
the engine and the Pawnee German pilots
06:48
could see that and that's what they
06:49
zeroed in on that's what that was his
06:52
theory anyway but anyway we got shot
06:54
down very it happened very quick and I
07:01
was just lucky I really shouldn't have
07:03
got out really because I was supposed to
07:05
go at the front end of the aircraft and
07:06
the bomb aimer and the engineer were
07:09
supposed to go ahead of me but they
07:11
couldn't get the darn hatch open you
07:15
know one the Lancaster's when the nose
07:17
there there's a hat there's an opening
07:18
there they can jump out but it couldn't
07:20
get the darn hatch open for some reason
07:23
around on why so I said to myself well
07:25
I'm not gonna get out that way so I went
07:26
back and stood behind the pilot and as I
07:29
stood there if you're familiar with the
07:31
Lancaster you know there's a lot of
07:33
perspex around it one of the windows
07:35
right there about that size just blew
07:38
open I pulled myself up I looked there
07:41
was an engine they're still working and
07:44
the tail was there and I said if I I'll
07:46
probably hit one ago but I didn't I
07:47
jumped out I pulled a parachute and the
07:50
first thing and always floating in the
07:51
air at about 20,000 feet yeah and the
07:57
parachute worked perfectly yeah we were
08:02
flying the the pilot here the parachutes
08:06
of what he sits on so he's with it but
08:08
we have a of what the parachute pack
08:10
which in an emergency you take it and it
08:13
attaches on on the harness and on your
08:15
chest and then when you jump out you
08:18
pull a cord and you're supposed to count
08:19
ten but I didn't I counted three I think
08:22
it wasn't pulled the cord and first
08:24
thing you know always floating up and
08:25
for my first impression was I was going
08:28
up but gradually I could see I was going
08:30
down and I was a bit concerned because I
08:32
could hear the fighter plane still
08:34
flying around I thought maybe maybe to
08:36
give me a burst but he didn't he ignored
08:38
me I think and then I landed in trees
08:40
and they captured me and and it was
08:45
about 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning so
08:49
they took me to a farmer's house
08:52
a very nice farmer in Germany their
08:55
farms seem to be different than ours of
08:57
houses and are all together like the
09:00
firm's are all two guys guess he did
09:01
deaths in the olden days for protection
09:02
and the cattle are very close to the
09:06
back door and everything's very close
09:08
and the this farmer luckily he speak
09:12
English and he has spent nine years in
09:14
Detroit working in the auto factories
09:16
and he was the most friendly guy you
09:19
know he was German yeah I guess he came
09:22
back when the war started or maybe he
09:24
was called back I don't know but his
09:26
whatever his wife had died in Detroit
09:28
and but he was so so nice nice fell to
09:32
talk to and what I wanted to give him my
09:35
watch and my and my wallet because I
09:39
didn't want the Germans again and he
09:41
said oh no he says I can't take that he
09:43
says if I took that and the Gestapo come
09:45
in there and found that on me he says
09:47
they wouldn't ask any questions he said
09:48
to just shoot me he he was scared of the
09:51
Gestapo so scared
09:52
but anyway he was very nice to me and he
09:56
says what you need is a drink of snaps
09:59
it says I said you think so yeah so you
10:02
went got the bottle of snaps and he
10:04
handed me that I need no no no I I had
10:06
never drank snaps before oh-oh to myself
10:10
I said that's too strong no no he took
10:13
mine he drank it himself
10:16
it was a very very friendly guy but he
10:21
put me to bed and I slept late and the
10:24
bed was a straw bed a straw mattress you
10:27
know but I think they call it a
10:29
polyester something it was it wasn't my
10:32
idea of a bed but it was very very
10:34
comfortable because I was tired by then
10:37
this is about two o'clock in the morning
10:40
and so he put me to bed and the next
10:43
morning the local Burgermeister came and
10:46
took me and they took me to jail but
10:48
first before they went to the jail they
10:51
took me to where the plane had crashed
10:53
and I could see the and they told me
10:55
then that all the other six guys were
10:57
dead and they I could see all the
10:59
equipment spread around the Germans are
11:02
very anxious to get equipment out of the
11:04
Lancaster and the
11:05
strip the whole thing but I can see that
11:07
the the parachutes were there some of
11:10
the world and some of the words and then
11:13
they took me when I had jumped out of
11:15
the airplane I cut my I don't know what
11:17
happened either the the parachute or
11:20
when I landed in the trees
11:22
cut my eye and it was bleeding so they
11:24
took me to a local airport which was a
11:27
training place for young boys weighing
11:33
the German airforce I figure out what
11:35
they called them but anyway they had me
11:37
in the infirmary and you know what in
11:39
affirming they have a glass around in
11:41
there these young boys came and looked
11:43
at me you know I could see them saying
11:45
oh he's a terror figure it's a terror
11:48
figure but anyway they looked at mean I
11:52
guess they thought to himself funny he's
11:54
not much different than they were and
11:56
from there they they took me yeah that
12:02
with the infirmary then they took put
12:04
two guards on me and took me to the
12:06
railway station at Frankfurt and from
12:09
there I was going to the interrogation
12:11
Center at do leg lifts and when we were
12:15
in the railway station there was an air
12:16
raid on and of course all the people
12:18
running in and going to the air-raid
12:20
shelter and we had to go down tips to
12:22
get to the shelter and as we were going
12:24
going in the people coming in they could
12:27
see me and I could tell by the look on
12:28
their faces they weren't too happy they
12:30
looked at me and they say Oh terror
12:32
figure you know and of course some of
12:33
these people I can see their point they
12:35
a lot of them had been bombed before and
12:37
maybe lost relative his thing and they
12:38
wouldn't be thinking too highly of me so
12:41
what they took these two guards they put
12:42
me in a corn they stood in front of me
12:44
so the people couldn't see see me as
12:46
they went down the steps and we got out
12:49
of there without incidents and when the
12:51
very air raid was over we got on a small
12:53
train I think and went to the
12:55
interrogation center which was very
12:58
close to of Frankfurt and I stayed there
13:00
about 11 days and they interrogate me
13:03
trying to find out if I knew anything
13:05
about our Air Force that they didn't
13:09
know and they were very very they had a
13:11
lot of information on our squadron on
13:14
on the whole air force thing and they
13:16
were very very anxious to get me to say
13:19
to speak and all we could give it we
13:22
were allowed to say was our name our
13:23
number in our rank and they they got a
13:27
bit miffed over that was one young
13:30
German officer I guess he came from the
13:33
sea spoke very good English he got very
13:35
upsetting
13:36
Martinez threatened me but the Geneva
13:39
Convention said that all we need to tell
13:41
him was our name our number in our rank
13:43
and that's all I told him and stuck to
13:45
that but I could tell by the way he was
13:49
talking he knew a lot more about our
13:51
squadron and maybe I thought I knew
13:53
myself and then from there I went to
13:57
another holding station and from there I
13:59
went to the prisoner of war camp just
14:03
outside of Nuremberg and we stayed there
14:07
about maybe a month or so and then as
14:12
the advancing armies were coming from
14:14
Lakeland Americans and the British
14:16
armies coming
14:17
they the Germans had to move us away
14:19
from the advancing armies so they moved
14:21
us on down towards Munich and we marched
14:26
on the tsuba through the Varia and it
14:30
was springtime and it was beautiful I
14:32
enjoyed I enjoyed the March better than
14:34
being under under the barbed wire and we
14:38
came to the Danube River and there was
14:40
something there was a bridge there but
14:42
there was some problem about it was BA
14:43
it was wired to bomb or something so we
14:46
had to wait there and as we were waiting
14:48
there three American Mustangs came over
14:52
flew over about a thousand feet and I
14:55
said to myself God those guys up there
14:56
they're probably gonna give us a burst
14:59
because it'd be it would just be young
15:01
pilots just like myself who would say to
15:03
themselves well I don't know who they
15:05
are down there but we might might as
15:06
well give them a burst anyway so they
15:08
flew over and around came back and flew
15:12
over again and there was a lot of
15:13
Americans in our group and they got the
15:15
they someone got some sheets and a white
15:18
cloth and put the words ppw on it and
15:21
the I guess they got the message then
15:23
they flew away but luckily they didn't
15:25
see up north
15:27
in northern Germany some of the fellas
15:29
on the March were shot up by their own
15:31
people because they didn't know the
15:33
pilots didn't know who they were and
15:35
cause quite it's quite a few fellows
15:37
died I think on that but they didn't
15:39
they didn't they didn't bother us we we
15:41
continued on and we went too far as
15:43
Regensburg and we stated at camp there
15:48
see up in northern England the the
15:50
weather was it was wintertime and it was
15:53
the bad a lot of the fellas had a hard
15:55
time whereas down and where I was in
15:57
Bavaria the weather was beautiful on the
16:00
March it was so great you know the
16:02
country you know it's a great country
16:04
just to walk through and if we were you
16:08
know alert we could get into a fire Mo's
16:10
and get some get some food I'm everyone
16:14
the guards the guards were old or old
16:17
men you know they I think they knew the
16:18
war was winding down and they weren't
16:20
too fussy so we were able to sneak into
16:22
our farmers and I went to this one
16:23
farmhouse I know there was a lady and an
16:25
old old lady she was in the pharmacy she
16:29
looked at me and she I think she was a
16:30
bit scared but she had a big loaf of
16:32
bread like that so so I said to Evans
16:35
e-boat yeah so she takes a knife and she
16:39
cuts me a slice of bread and she hands
16:41
me the place but I took the whole loaf
16:43
and she looked at me as if to say you
16:45
cheeky bugger but she was so much she
16:49
was scared you know she she don't know
16:51
who I was but when I took the whole know
16:54
if she got see I thought she had the
16:56
knife so I thought she's gonna give me a
16:57
jab but she didn't she she didn't wanna
17:00
fight about it so I had the whole loaf
17:01
of bread and she had the slice that was
17:09
45 yeah we got a bit mixed up on
17:15
like we had no calendars that people
17:17
tell us what day it was or anything but
17:18
I remember what on that March we were on
17:22
we are to a little village and as we
17:25
were going through it well young girl
17:27
it's one youngster guess you're on 21 22
17:30
come running out of the house she just
17:31
because good things and she said to us
17:33
in the March you've got you guys have
17:35
had it now Roosevelt has died
17:37
I think Roosevelt died that
17:39
and she says now the Russians will take
17:41
over and you guys I'll have a hard time
17:43
I don't know I don't know what her
17:44
position whether how she could see some
17:46
good English but she was thought we were
17:48
we were gonna be in bad bad trouble but
17:52
we didn't we just laughed at her but
17:57
when the war was I I can't remember when
17:59
the war was actually over but home he
18:01
got to ring in the burgh they put us in
18:03
a camp it wasn't a regular president war
18:07
camp but it was them I guess it was
18:09
meant as a holding station and when we
18:14
were when we were there General Patton's
18:22
army came through see the war was really
18:25
pressing hosannas coming into him in the
18:27
munich and we could hear the week we i
18:30
could see the soldier you know you can
18:31
see the soldiers in the field and you
18:33
could hear the gunshots and as we were
18:35
standing there General Patton comes in
18:38
and he was sitting in a it was a car
18:41
bigger than a Jeep but similar to a Jeep
18:44
and he had his medals and his revolvers
18:46
and and of course in our camp does a lot
18:48
of Americans they almost got down on
18:51
their knees and adored him General
18:53
Patton oh of course he a real showman
18:56
you know he good but that as far as we
18:58
were concerned that was our liberation
19:00
the doors of her float thrown over and
19:02
we could do what we wanted then so that
19:05
was to me that was the end of the war
19:06
really
19:07
so what date that was I don't know that
19:09
was the war was practically over I think
19:12
well we what he did they they arranged
19:19
to fly us into Reims some of us into
19:25
Reims because general Eisenhower's
19:28
headquarters were there and he was going
19:30
to come out and talk to us but for some
19:32
he couldn't make it but a vice marshal
19:37
his deputy he came and talked to us but
19:42
he didn't save him I just
19:44
congratulations you know for what we did
19:46
and everything
19:46
and then from there we went to an
19:48
airport and they flew us flew us back to
19:50
England one of the things what treaty
19:53
struck me when were at Regensburg in in
19:57
the camp released some was a lot of
20:00
American boys there and somebody one of
20:03
the officers somebody got the idea that
20:05
the American boys should be taken to a
20:08
concentration camp so they could see
20:11
what was actually going on rather than
20:14
read about it in the newspaper or get
20:16
secondhand so they arranged to transport
20:19
some I went with them to a concentration
20:23
camp I think it was booked involved I'm
20:25
not sure but it was it was unbelievably
20:28
terrible to see those fellows in there
20:30
they were all dying and they you know
20:33
they're pleading for us to do something
20:34
we couldn't do anything for them really
20:36
but they were dying that struck me as
20:39
terrible some some people or some leash
20:44
could do such terrible things to other
20:46
people but I think they got the message
20:48
across to the American boys they could
20:50
see that it was it actually happened it
20:52
wasn't somebody's story
20:55
some of the boys couldn't stand it was
20:57
so so terrible when they flew us out
21:01
from Reims into it London to an airport
21:05
north of London and we stayed overnight
21:06
then we went down to Bournemouth and we
21:08
got straightened around what do you mean
21:13
by straightened around Oh
21:14
regular get our old clothes and stuff
21:17
like that and got got some money and got
21:19
some beer and got some food and got
21:21
going then got up to London so so when
21:27
General Patton come it came in that was
21:29
your moment that it was over right as
21:31
far as I was concerned yeah that was it
21:33
you know because he you know the doors
21:35
were phone open now the advice is not to
21:38
go out and try to you know get back to
21:41
England on our own because the war was
21:44
still on people are still fighting and
21:46
we could hear the bullets being shot off
21:49
quite near and if you get cotton and
21:52
then like that they're not gonna you
21:54
know we we had no identity and they
21:57
wouldn't think twice about shooting so
22:00
they
22:00
visors stay put which we did at least I
22:04
did some of them some of the guys took
22:06
off and got back I I think these
22:08
celebrations were over in England what
22:10
the war must they must have d-day or V
22:13
they must have come and gone but yeah we
22:17
were actually get back home that of
22:19
course well it was nice to at home it
22:22
was kind of a letdown though because the
22:24
excitement was over the war is over my
22:33
mother my father and and friends they
22:37
had a party for me but you know they I
22:42
wasn't too impressed really because the
22:46
people back in Canada had no idea of
22:48
what was going on in Europe absolutely
22:52
not
22:52
you know I was talking to one woman at
22:54
the party they gave me Jim
22:56
how was the food Oh I said the food was
22:58
terrible
22:59
yeah she says we're having a hard time
23:01
we we only get a pound of butter a week
23:04
you know they have the Minh drive up to
23:09
what was happening in Europe - what were
23:11
they were going through in Canada
23:13
because as far as the Canadians were
23:14
concerned they didn't they didn't know
23:16
the word war was on I don't think no no
23:23
they couldn't they couldn't they
23:24
couldn't realise it a lot of them
23:26
wouldn't wouldn't if they went to that
23:29
concentration camp they wouldn't it
23:31
would be beyond them I think but anyway
23:35
they were a long ways away from the war
23:38
and weren't affected but except by those
23:41
people who didn't come back
23:45
after the war I went to law school and I
23:50
stayed for a while but I could see after
23:51
I couldn't settle down I guess my mind
23:54
was someplace else so I I left there and
23:56
and started to work and finally I worked
23:59
for Blue Cross and then that eventually
24:01
became OHIP and I spent my working days
24:04
with OHIP here in I I moved to a started
24:08
in Toronto moved to Kitchener then I
24:10
moved to Unionville and I spent 35 years
24:12
in Unionville there
24:13
head office was down on down the Don
24:17
Valley Parkway someplace I forget where
24:19
it was burn yeah I got married I had
24:23
five kids yeah yeah some not really the
24:28
the young people really aren't
24:29
interested I found out I told him a bit
24:33
you know what happened they say Oh dad
24:34
come on you know and that they young
24:38
people are living in a different world
24:40
really I think that was my and I didn't
24:46
want to bore them with my experiences
24:50
yeah one one two of them two of them are
24:52
retired two of them are totally retired
24:59
two of them are still working and one
25:02
boys
25:02
he's on a sort of a disability yeah
25:06
they're they're getting up there in
25:08
years they're interested now well they
25:11
must be asking you know they're really
25:14
not interested they're they're more
25:15
interested in what's going on
25:17
now well I'm interested you're
25:22
interested I'm very my dad was a World
25:25
War two Corvette man oh boy on a
25:28
Corvette yes did I ever tell you my
25:33
experience on the Corvette no well when
25:37
we're on the squadron somebody in in the
25:39
headquarters someplace I guess it was
25:42
combined headquarters got the idea that
25:45
guys in the Air Force should to try to
25:48
do a Navy job Navy guys should try an
25:51
army job army job to try an Air Force
25:53
job so the pilot and I decided to go it
25:57
on a Corvette and we were going to go
26:01
across the English Channel to France and
26:04
the Corvette was stationed in the in the
26:08
English Channel in these channels so we
26:10
got on a train went down there and I
26:12
think it was the Baddeck I'm not sure I
26:15
forgot the name of the Corvette but what
26:19
what what I found out we got on the
26:23
Corvette and right away it met the
26:25
captain
26:26
and of course the controversy comes up
26:28
what one of the responsibilities of a
26:30
captain on a Corvette to a captain on a
26:32
or a crew on an airplane and I can see
26:35
the two different worlds pletely it just
26:40
so happened it was a guy on the Corvette
26:41
who was an Able Seaman who I went to
26:46
school with and of course I wanted to
26:48
talk to him right away but I think that
26:50
upset the captain if we don't do that
26:54
sort of thing but anyway we stayed on
26:57
the Corvette and and the weather got
26:59
terrible terribly rough for some reason
27:02
rather the boat was fine so we ended up
27:05
in the wardroom and started to drink and
27:11
the weather didn't improve and after
27:14
about three o'clock my I said the pilot
27:16
I think I think we better get out here
27:18
or we'll be here forever
27:22
they're very friendly people but I can
27:24
see these the lines of command were so
27:27
different than the Air Force and the Air
27:28
Force in an air crane
27:30
everybody knows everybody you called my
27:34
first name and everybody knows what the
27:36
job is and they do it and whereas on a
27:39
Corvette it's this sort of a command
27:42
thing you do what you're told sort of
27:44
thing and I notice that right away
27:47
especially just when I talk to this guy
27:49
and I shouldn't have been talking to him
27:51
because the captain I don't think the
27:53
captain on the boat like because that
27:56
that isn't done I don't think but anyway
27:59
we kind of enjoyed it
28:01
I could see after I say in that Corvette
28:03
limo three o'clock in the morning that I
28:05
sure glad I wasn't in the Navy it's so
28:09
confined see in the air in the airport
28:13
in the Air Force we fly a flight or a
28:16
mission and it might go for hours five
28:19
or six hours and you come back and
28:21
you're through yeah
28:22
you drop it you know you leave
28:24
everything behind you and then you go to
28:26
the pub or you go to whatever whereas on
28:28
the Navy you're on 24 hours doing that
28:31
stuff and on and on and on you know
28:34
there's no end to it then you get some
28:35
leave of course but it's it's it's not
28:38
and then an out sort of thing like it is
28:39
the air force yeah you notice that right
28:42
away that's what I notice right away
28:44
those guys on the under on that ship
28:47
they were they were there until they
28:48
could get a leave whereas where are we
28:51
on the airplane for six hours seven
28:53
hours eight hours and then we're through
28:55
well it was a long time ago and bring
29:00
back a lot of memories
29:02
of course I I have a nature of rather
29:06
being you looking on the bright side you
29:09
know I've seen the humor of things and
29:12
maybe that's what got me through the war
29:15
I don't know I was never scared
29:20
frightened
29:21
I knew terrible things could happen they
29:25
never did and on that March I really
29:28
enjoyed walking through bavaria in the
29:30
springtime today if I wanted to go to
29:32
Germany and walk through Bavaria would
29:34
cost me a lot of money just to just to
29:36
walk through those boundaries
29:41
was there a guide all for nothing yeah
29:43
if you ever go back to Europe yeah
29:46
gone back several times and my wife and
29:49
I went to Europe once and we went to
29:52
that area we Marcia and I couldn't
29:54
recognize a thing I couldn't find the
29:56
road it couldn't find anything you
29:58
actually went back to Germany yeah oh
30:00
yeah Wow but I should I really should
30:02
have gone back to that farmer really but
30:04
I had forgotten worried what what where
30:06
he was but you know when you're
30:09
traveling you have only got so much time
30:11
but we went to that area around north of
30:14
a Munich where where we march down there
30:18
but I couldn't find the road it's a very
30:23
very rural country and very I'm gonna
30:26
say backward but the farming isn't on
30:29
the level that we farm in this country
30:31
here you might in in in that part of
30:33
Germany when we were marching you might
30:36
see an old old lady out in the field
30:38
with a plough trying to plough the earth
30:40
whereas you would never see that in
30:42
Canada Wow I don't think no but coarsely
30:47
the manpower situation in Germany was
30:49
was desperate really because they were
30:54
running out of manpower and running out
30:57
of everything food and everything else
31:00
so if you ever met a veteran German
31:05
veteran yeah I did I was a my brother
31:12
lives in the British coming I visited
31:14
used to visit him periodically and we
31:15
went to the Air Show it yeah it was on
31:18
the island I think it was ever for
31:22
atmospher yeah the air short abbotsford
31:25
that's not on the island it's on the
31:27
mainland and we they had an airshow
31:30
there and when I was there this guy
31:31
comes along and started talking and he
31:33
was in the German air force and he's
31:36
nice fella
31:37
you come to County became part of the
31:39
part of the people that were running the
31:43
air show because he knew a lot about
31:44
airplanes and we're talking and I said I
31:47
was in the Air Force I used to bomb
31:49
Germany I said and he said well yeah
31:54
he's what were you flying and I told him
31:57
Lancaster's oh he says he says wow he
32:00
says I was a fighter pod he says but I
32:02
never shot Lancaster's you may want to
32:08
make that point he wasn't shooting at me
32:09
but a very nice chap and yeah he said it
32:12
right into Canada he got involved in in
32:15
the air air business over here and he
32:18
seemed to be enjoying it wow that's cool
32:21
yeah that's a good story
32:23
yeah and you're the right person for to
32:27
meet you're the right spirit yeah but he
32:30
didn't want to impress upon me
32:31
no he says I never I never shot you guys
32:34
he probably did you know do you remember
32:37
what kind of plane shot you down no I
32:40
don't so much going on some sort of a
32:44
fighter plane I think yeah I didn't see
32:47
it at all yeah I heard of flying around
32:49
right after I jumped out and I was
32:52
afraid that he might see me floating
32:55
down and give me
32:55
shot but he flew away yeah I guess he
32:59
decided let me alone let me float down
33:03
peacefully yeah well I'm glad you
33:06
survived that Wow yeah yeah that's quite
33:10
the thing well it was great to hit the
33:11
ground it was funny when I when I was
33:13
coming down one of my first impression
33:14
when I didn't open that parachute that I
33:16
was going up I don't know what what gave
33:18
me that impression but in fact yeah I
33:22
was going up but anyway I can see I can
33:25
see by the there was a slight horizon I
33:27
could see I was falling not too fast but
33:31
then as I got close to the ground you
33:33
notice how fast you're falling and I
33:34
landed in trees heavy tree big trees so
33:39
it was wintertime and it was all snow on
33:41
the ground Mike I couldn't see if it
33:43
right so I decided you know we had this
33:45
harness on the side you know and get it
33:47
out of the parachute and slide down I
33:49
looked down again I was up about 50 feet
33:51
oh I said I thought I better not jump
33:53
down there I'll be breaking my leg so I
33:55
pulled over to the side of the tree and
33:57
got out of the harness and slimmer down
34:02
but it was wintertime there a lot of
34:04
snow I guess it was them I guess it was
34:10
a snowy part of the country that very
34:13
rural very rural part you know when you
34:15
jump out in a parachute it's it's
34:17
dangerous because you could land on
34:18
hydro wires or in a lake or on a highway
34:21
or but I landed in the trees which was a
34:23
good place to land really I was a bit
34:27
miffed really see a lot of people blamed
34:32
or accused bomber command of bombing
34:36
civilians and of course we did with what
34:41
we bombed what we called you know
34:46
bomb bomb everything but in in war you
34:49
you bomb what you have to it and you do
34:52
what you're told some people when I came
34:54
here for some people your bomb oh yeah
34:56
you people you bomb women and children
34:59
and it made me kind of mad but really
35:02
people shouldn't and then they met that
35:04
fell and every seed that fell them by
35:06
the
35:08
what was the name of them they did a
35:11
Philemon Bomber Command I forget their
35:17
name anyway it was a terrible film
35:19
terrible it kind of made fun of Bomber
35:21
Command and what we were doing maybe we
35:24
give the impression maybe we shouldn't
35:27
have been doing that but in a war you do
35:29
what you have to do you don't say well I
35:33
don't think I'll do that today because I
35:34
don't think that's a good idea
35:35
you do what you have to do we bombed
35:39
wherever we could I guess they thought
35:51
they thought the technology was perfect
35:53
but it wasn't because there's so many
35:54
different factors is the wind there's
35:56
the speed of the aircraft there's the
35:58
other aircraft around and oh yeah so
36:00
many things happening that too you know
36:03
a flak and everything yeah but um I
36:08
think I was a bit see when at the end of
36:13
the war the head of Fighter Command in
36:17
England was decorated by the Queen but
36:21
the head of Bomber Command wasn't and he
36:24
didn't he didn't get a commendation and
36:29
that was I think because of the bombing
36:33
that he was doing air Commodore air
36:38
vice-marshal Harris but his idea was
36:41
that he could shorten the war or maybe
36:43
finish the war through bombing and maybe
36:47
maybe he had a good idea I don't know
36:53
the thing is that if they didn't that
36:56
maybe they'd be sued fighting on the
36:57
ground for a long time but I remember
37:00
reading a an article once about when
37:03
they were bombing Hamburg I wasn't on
37:06
the raid but it was a big fire you know
37:10
with fire started once the fire started
37:11
sort of escalates and the some german
37:17
general said to
37:19
somebody I know he said it to you he
37:21
says we can't stand another one of those
37:25
so Germany was collapsing due to the
37:28
fact that the civilians were being
37:31
bombed and were shortening the more and
37:34
from that point of view I think the
37:35
bombing was justified because to do it
37:41
on the ground would take maybe much
37:43
longer and cost many more lives that's
37:46
all my own idea but I but I'm glad that
37:50
they kept up the bombing and caused a
37:55
lot of havoc of course a lot of people
37:58
used the view that the Germans bombed
38:01
England and we were justified in bombing
38:05
them back sort of I don't know whether
38:08
that's right or not but they did a lot
38:11
of havoc in England in their bombing lot
38:14
of they bombed a lot of civilians killed
38:16
our civilians but they did it and that
38:21
was it
38:22
then the war ended I wish yeah a message
38:28
or a wish for the future no I couldn't
38:32
get into that that's you know we're
38:35
moving pretty fast
38:36
and I couldn't give them any advice we
38:40
are don't go to war would keep out of a
38:42
war yeah that's pretty hard thing to do
38:47
yeah but you're you're right we are
38:49
moving fast the war everything's
38:52
spinning communications and yeah it's
38:55
getting out of hand but anyway I love
38:59
people worried about what's going to
39:01
have but I think I don't think we have
39:02
to worry too much see young people
39:04
she'll be able to handle it yeah well
39:07
that's good that you have faith and
39:09
future generations that's good oh yeah
39:12
sure you do his faith were dead
39:14
yeah that's true we never lost faith in
39:16
prison camp that's one thing I noticed
39:19
people people always look forward to
39:24
something better
39:25
I laughed
39:28
in prison camp when a new fella come
39:30
into prison camp first thing they ask
39:32
him how cause the war coming how does it
39:36
work and of course me being rather
39:39
facetious would say all the wars
39:41
practically over don't worry one no say
39:43
or don't tell us that we've heard that
39:45
so often I mean we've it sort of it
39:50
would sort of be deflated that we would
39:52
say that it you know the the war is
39:54
practically over but to them and the war
39:56
was still going on they're still in
39:58
prison camp they're not out yet but
40:01
coming coming from England
40:03
into Germany at that time and save
40:05
December forty five I knew that the war
40:08
the way things are going that wasn't
40:10
going to last that much longer just a
40:12
matter of time because you know Germany
40:15
Germany was being plastered but from the
40:18
from the Allies and Russia was coming on
40:22
the other way and killing him there it
40:30
was inevitable really but we were one of
40:37
the big concerns about being in prison
40:39
camp at that time was that you know they
40:44
would get kind of nasty and maybe shoot
40:47
us all or do something with us or them
40:50
give us in the Russians or something but
40:52
nothing ever happened was very very
40:54
worked out very well and they flew us
40:57
out without too much too much of a
40:59
problem
41:00
did they respect you weren't did they
41:02
respect the Geneva Convention when you
41:04
were oh yeah the Germans are very big on
41:06
that show they yeah respected the rules
41:11
of war so to speak
41:15
did you feed you right well yeah well
41:18
the food was was terrible but you must
41:23
remember at that time Germany was had no
41:25
food they were rate down to rock bottom
41:28
even though you know the the general
41:31
public was starving too so we couldn't
41:35
expect any anything in the line of food
41:38
it was the food was to be what if they
41:40
bought that food
41:41
that we were eating in prison camp here
41:43
today you you you wouldn't you would you
41:46
wouldn't need it you couldn't but when
41:49
you're hungry you'll eat anything I
41:51
remember once on when we're off to March
41:55
well I got into this farmhouse I don't
41:58
know how I did but I got and there was a
42:00
trough there and the pigs were eating
42:02
his stuff I looked at it pick it up look
42:05
pretty good so I I thought I didn't have
42:07
some so I ate some was pretty good I
42:09
said was was sorry I don't know what it
42:13
was it was almost better than the food
42:16
we were getting so what was what was the
42:21
take on all the fellas here in yourself
42:24
when they when you heard that they were
42:26
doing the Bomber Command memorial he
42:28
pardoned what was the the feeling and
42:30
the take where the fellows here in
42:32
yourself when you learned about the
42:34
Bomber Command Memorial in England well
42:36
we thought is about time you know they
42:38
did something to it who recognizes
42:40
because by not recognizes they're really
42:44
saying that those guys that died died
42:48
for no reason and that's not right that
42:51
bomber commands losses were terrible you
42:54
know terrible unbelievable yeah terrible
43:00
losses and there were who were being
43:04
lost for really young guys who were
43:08
really you know the top of the top of
43:13
the rank really as far as people were
43:15
concerned they were all well educated
43:18
and you know the great drain on the
43:20
country that they should be lost like
43:22
that but they were and and looking at
43:26
that with the bomb the bombing can't be
43:29
sure looked at as being in vain it did
43:34
it did help bring the war to an end
43:39
same with it I guess you get the same
43:41
theory of the atomic bomb in Japan a lot
43:45
of people say we they shouldn't have
43:47
used the atomic bomb but by using the
43:50
atomic bomb they saved a lot of
43:52
a lot of men and somebody was saying I
43:55
was reading the other day that if they
43:57
tried to conquer Japan by invading it
44:01
that would take many more men many more
44:04
material to do that and it would go on
44:06
for much longer so it's a matter of I
44:11
think a matter of how you look at it and
44:16
what war does really what you want to
44:18
accomplish and more a lot of people
44:21
criticize the Americans for using that
44:23
Tommy bomb and still do to this day and
44:28
of course the question is will it ever
44:31
be used again or will we ever have a
44:33
situation like they had during the war
44:35
when we were bombing people like that
44:37
will that ever happen again I think your
44:44
attitude about seeing the glass half
44:46
full like you said it kept you going and
44:50
I loved hearing about you know like that
44:55
farmer from Detroit yeah and the lady
44:57
with the loaf of bread and the wok in
45:01
Hamburg you know you saw the the glass
45:04
half-full and it kept you going and
45:06
that's a that's a special quality about
45:09
you right yeah yeah so because it's
45:12
there was a lot of bad things and you
45:14
saw a lot of things that you know this
45:18
glass half-full has helped you too yeah
45:21
I guess so to live through life and to
45:23
rationalize it but I think as time goes
45:25
on people will forget although they
45:30
might later on lake in the second world
45:31
first for a war people are starting to
45:33
remember what happened there but I think
45:37
after the war was over the first world
45:39
war was over saying the twenties people
45:41
forgot that like the like we have a
45:43
tendency to forget or our last war here
45:47
the other thing is things are moving
45:49
much faster now than they were 20 years
45:51
ago or 40 years ago and people are much
45:55
much much busier doing other things they
46:00
haven't got time to think of that past
46:02
anymore
46:03
the past is past
46:12
you

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